The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Security Risk Substances

Graham Marshall - Sunday, July 29, 2012

The WA Dangerous Goods Safety (Security Risk Substances) Regulations 2007 (the SRS Regulations) came into force following the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement  related to counter-terrorism measures.

The requirements of the SRS Regulations are in addition to the requirements of the other dangerous goods safety regulations.

The following substances, other than Class 1 dangerous goods, are security risk substances (SRS) in
Western Australia:

· Solid mixtures containing more than 45% ammonium nitrate (AN); and

· Ammonium nitrate emulsions, suspensions or gels.

This includes calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), which is not a dangerous good under the UN classification system.

The SRS licensing system allows only specifically authorized persons to possess SRS and have unsupervised access to them.

Authorized persons are either licence holders or so-called ‘secure employees’ of licence holders.

In order to obtain an SRS licence, a legitimate purpose must be demonstrated, such as:

· Use for manufacture of commercial explosives and non-SRS products such as nitrous oxide;

· Use in laboratories for research, teaching and testing; and

· Fertilizer use by primary producers.

Licences are not issued for household use or fertilization of recreational grounds (e.g. sports grounds, parks, gardens).

Licensed shotfirers and operators of mobile processing units (MPUs; licensed under the Explosives Regulations) do not need to be separately authorized to possess SRS.

Anyone else requires one or more of the following three-year licences to possess or purchase SRS:

· SRS import/export licence;

· SRS manufacture licence (allows associated storage);

· SRS storage licence;

· SRS transport licence;

· SRS supply licence; and

· SRS fertilizer licence (combination licence for transport, storage and use).

SRS manufacture, storage, transport and fertilizer licences require a security plan as a precondition for obtaining the licence.

SRS licences are only issued to applicants in possession of a valid security clearance, as shown by a current dangerous goods security card.

The security clearance process is conducted by the WA Police Service.

It is an offence for an employer or secure employees to allow unsupervised access to SRS by an employee without a security clearance.

Further Guidance can be found by clicking this link.

Managing Risk When Working Alone

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Because Western Australia covers such a big area, there are many times each day where a person could work alone in a remote or relatively isolated location.

Some examples are:

• Farm workers and foresters; 

• Local or State Government employees;

• Vermin and pest controllers;

• Geologists; and

• Hunters.

Workers may also do their jobs alone in a Perth-metropolitan area. For example, a worker is alone when he or she: 

• Works in a depot or business when there are no other workers;

• Works in a workplace when everyone else has gone home;

• Examines large structures, such as cranes, when there is no-one else in the vicinity;

• Undertakes maintenance or construction work in vacant premises;

• Cleans offices in high rise buildings when there is no-one else in the area being cleaned;

• Is called out at night to check on security alarms or faults in a business premises that is closed;

• Works on his or her own as a ranger in parkland and reserves; and

• Inspects vacant  land  for the presence of noxious weeds when landowners are not present.

In most cases the risk associated with solo-work is increased because of emergency situations which may arise due to the sudden onset of a medical condition, accidental work-related injury or disease, attack by an animal, exposure to the elements, or by becoming stranded without food or water.

The consequences may be very serious and the injury or disease may be fatal.

In response to the heightened risk, the Government of WA has developed this Guidance Note which explains the OSH laws that apply to people who work alone.

It covers general requirements in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and specific regulatory requirements where they exist.

Included here, you will also find a completed JSA that addresses the risk associated with working in remote locations.


Drivers need to slow down in Black Gold Boom

Graham Marshall - Saturday, June 09, 2012

With the black gold boom taking place in Western North Dakota has come a huge increase in the number of trucks on the local roads.

We're appealing to all Bakken drivers to just take a little more time and slow down, pay attention, and avoid paying the ultimate price.

No amount of rushing is worth being killed at work, so please just slow down and take your time!

Transporting Flammable Gas Cylinders

Graham Marshall - Monday, June 04, 2012

Thousands of workers are unnecessarily placing themselves, and members of the public, at risk by carrying flammable gas cylinders in vehicles in an unsafe manner.

Flammable gas cylinders include those containing oxygen, acetylene, liquefied petroleum gas and propane or butane throwaway-style cylinders.

A recent "blitz" of businesses in the Northern Territory of Australia by the safety regulator found that 60% of trades businesses surveyed were not compliant with the law.

The blitz followed the deaths of two tradesmen in Australia late last year.

The first fatality involved a 24-year old tradesman who died after his work vehicle exploded in Darwin.

The second fatality occurred in Melbourne when a 25-year old tradesman was killed in a similar explosion.

Both explosions were caused because gas was leaking from portable flammable gas cylinders and ignited inside their vehicles.

There have been other reported cases of explosions and in many cases, the ignition source was the vehicle’s electrical system.

So what can you do if you're transporting flammable gas in cylinders?

 Gas cylinders should be stored and transported in vehicles with cargo areas open to the air;

 Gas cylinders should not be stored inside closed type vehicles;

 Ensure the main cylinder valves are tightly closed;

 Check that there is no leakage from the main valve area (eg using a gas detector or soapy water test);

 Confirm that cylinders are secured in an upright position to prevent them tipping or falling over;

 Ensure that cylinders cannot be struck by other objects (eg loose tools and materials);

 Ensure that cylinders are always removed from the vehicle before the gas is used; and

 Carry at least one 10B dry-powder fire extinguisher in the driver’s cabin.

The best option is to carry cylinders in Open-type vehicles which have cargo areas that are open to the air with unrestricted ventilation.

If the cargo area of your open-type vehicle is fitted with sides (eg utility vehicles), it may retain escaped gas.

Some types of escaped gas will flow and accumulate in low, enclosed, and poorly ventilated areas.

If you are not sure if your cargo area may allow gas to accumulate, assume it can and consider installing vents in these areas.

Flammable gas cylinders should not be carried inside closed-type vehicles including vans or other vehicles that have cargo areas with restricted natural air movement and ventilation.

Flammable gas cylinders should also not be carried in vehicles under canopies, inside service bodies or toolboxes, and vehicles where cylinders are covered by tarps or tonneau covers.

If you cannot avoid using a closed-type vehicle, it should be fitted with a separate gas storage cabinet that is vapour-tight from the rest of the vehicle.

The gas cabinet must be secured to the vehicle and be big enough to store all cylinders carried in the vehicle, including empty cylinders.

It must be designed to ensure gas from leaking cylinders cannot accumulate inside the cabinet but is vented to the atmosphere outside the vehicle.

The cabinet door must be securely sealed whenever cylinders are stored in the cabinet.

27th Annual Dangerous Goods Seminar

Graham Marshall - Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Vehicle Certification Agency's (VCA) Dangerous Goods Office  is the UK authority for the certification of packaging and intermediate bulk containers used for the transport of dangerous goods, in accordance with national and international regulations.

The VCA is co-ordinating its 27th annual Dangerous Goods Seminar, to take place on July 11th-12th at the Hinckley Island Hotel (formerly the Barceló Hotel), Leicestershire.

if you're involved with a UK transport business, good reasons for attending the VCAs Dangerous Goods Seminar include:

1. Understand how forthcoming legislation changes may affect your business;

2. Get face to face access to UK regulators;

3. Expert speakers; and

4. Networking opportunities.

Further information about this event is available from Paul Cooke, Tel: +44 (0)117 9524126.

Traffic Light Speed Camera's in WA

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 21, 2012

Enclosed below is the list of all existing (May 2012) combination traffic light / fixed speed camera locations in Western Australia (WA).

Applecross                     Canning Highway and Riseley Street
Balcatta                           Reid Highway and Balcatta Road
Balga                               Beach Road and Mirrabooka Avenue
Bayswater                      Guildford Road & Garratt Road
Bayswater                      Guildford Road & Tonkin Highway
Bayswater                      Tonkin Highway & Collier Road
Bentley                            Albany Highway and Leach Highway
Booragoon                     Riseley and Marmion Street
Canningvale                  Bannister Road and Willeri Avenue
Canningvale                  South Street and Roe Highway
Cottesloe                       Stirling Highway and Eric Street
Dianella                         Alexander Drive & Grand Promenade
Dianella                         Morley and Alexander Drive
East Rockingham        Mandurah Road and Dixon Road
Hamersley                    Wanneroo and Beach Road
Hamilton Hill                Winterfold and Stock Road
Hazelmere                    Great Eastern Highway Bypass & Stirling Crescent
High Wycombe            Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road
Joondalup                    Joondalup Drive and Shenton Avenue
Madeley                        Wanneroo Road & Hepburn Avenue
Malaga                          Reid Highway & Malaga Drive  
Mirrabooka                   Mirrabooka Ave and Ravenswood Drive
Morley                            Beechboro Road North and Morley Drive
Padbury                        Hepburn Avenue and Marmion Avenue
Perth                             Riverside Drive and Barrack Street
Piara Waters               Armadale Road and Nicholson Road
South Perth                 Canning Highway and Douglas Avenue
Victoria Park               Great Eastern Highway and Shepperton Road
Welshpool                  Orrong Road & Pilbara Street
Wilson                         Leach Highway and Bungaree Road

There is also one fixed speed camera on the Mitchell Freeway (southbound lanes) in Innaloo. 

Please drive safely today and avoid paying the extra road tax (speed fine) to the Government of WA.

Water Truck Roll-over

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) requires its membership to report high-potential incidents as part of the safety performance reporting process.

High-potential incidents (HiPOs) are defined by APPEA as any "accident, event, or happening of a serious nature that: results in a Major Accident Event (MAE) performance standard not being met; results in a loss of containment; or could cause a fatality or multiple fatalities".

APPEA distributes HIPO Alerts for the Australian oil and gas industry to highlight learnings from HIPO incidents.

The HIPO Alert found here, highlights an incident in which a water-carting truck rolled-over when going around a corner too quickly. 

The alert offers some important "lessons learned" for future consideration.

Driver fatigue in heavy haulage vehicles

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 12, 2012

An Australian road safety study recently published by the Journal of Sleep found that 41 pr cent of Australia's truck drivers suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

The study found that road safety is seriously impacted, increasing the drivers’ risk of crashing by up to seven-fold.

The research team surveyed 517 commercial truck drivers in NSW and Western Australian over 20 months.

Of the 517 drivers surveyed, only 12 per cent reported feeling tiredness using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), the only self diagnosing questionnaire currently used for assessing sleep patterns during drivers' medical tests.

But the research went on to indicate that 16 per cent of the drivers surveyed were categorized as having severe cases of OSA.

The researchers concluded that the questionnaires alone were not sufficient to assess drivers’ crash risk during medical examinations.

Professor Mark Stevenson, the director of Melbourne’s Monash University Accident Research Centre, said the current licensing requirements would not identify those with sleep disorders.

We know there is an elevated risk of crashing in drivers with untreated OSA, therefore it is important that truck drivers – behind the wheels of the largest vehicles on the road network, at times with combustible freight – should be tested with a diagnostic tool that does not rely on self reporting”.

Industry body - the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) fully reported the study’s conclusions.

ATA Communications manager Bill McKinley said the association in 2009 recommended diagnostic testing for truck drivers to the National Transport Commission (NTC) which develops licensing guidelines.

He said, however, the recommendation from the ATA was ignored in the most recent guidelines, in place since March 1st 2012.

The Risk Management Toolbox fully agrees that there should be a diagnostic tool for sleep apnoea included in the medical standards for truck drivers.

Speed Fines Shown to Increase Accidents

Graham Marshall - Monday, April 30, 2012

In 2009 State Senator Leland Yee authorized legislation which approved the doubling of traffic infringement fines on four of San Francisco's busiest roads.

The four roads involved in the special legislation included 19th Avenue, Van Ness Avenue, Lombard Street and Park Presidio Boulevard.  The first three roads form State Highway 1 and US Highway 101 as they pass through San Francisco.

But after two years of implementation, the outcome of the doubling of traffic fines In San Francisco has been a significant increase in both traffic accidents and injuries.

The San Francisco Examiner (Sunday April 15th, 2012) reporting on information released by the SF Police Departed shows:

+    68 per cent increase in traffic injuries on 19th Avenue;

+    281 per cent increase in traffic injuries on Lombard Street; and

+   122 per cent increase in traffic injuries on Park Presidio Boulevard. 

Only Van Ness Avenue reported a drop with traffic injuries falling by just 7 per cent.

The San Francisco results are a further example of the lack of evidence that imposing speed fines result in improved safety for road users.

In Perth (WA), the Road Safety Council and Western Australian Government are still trying to con WA motorists that the speed fines are anything other than a road tax on motorists.  Over here in Australia, it's nothing more than revenue raising wrapped up as a "safety campaign".

San Francisco shows the rot at the heart of the road safety campaign in WA!




Static at the Petrol Pump

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alongside the standard hazards of driving, remember to keep in mind that static electricity can ignite petrol vapours when filling up at the petrol pump.

Incidents of static sparking petrol fires are rare, but they do occur several times each year, and 176 have been reported in the USA since 2002.

The risk posed by static rises when the air is dry.

Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of the 176 fires cataloged by the US Petroleum Equipment Institute have occurred in the colder winter months of December, January or February.

So what's the reason for this?

Put simply, it is more likely that drivers will get back into their cars while filling the tank when the weather is cold.

And this simple behaviour means the drivers body generates static as they slide in and out of the car seat.

If the driver doesn't then touch the door or door frame as they get out of the car any static that has built up can be released when they grab the petrol nozzle.

And that can ignite the petrol vapours around the pump.

It seems younger and thinner drivers, and women are more at risk, because they don't need the extra leverage to get out of the car and therefore are less likely to discharge any static before touching the petrol pump.  Women are more at risk because they're the most likely to get back into a car when refueling.

On a more positive note, however, most cars built since 1998 include vapour-recovery technology that sucks fuel vapours into the tank.

That engineered control has played a significant roll in reducing static-sparked fires at the petrol bowser.


But there are still millions of vehicles on the roads today that don't have the newer vapour-recovery technology.


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