Freight company fined after dangerous goods safety checks

THE NSW Environment Protection Authority has fined freight company Vellex Pty Ltd $8000 after one of its contracted trucks allegedly failed to comply with the safety requirements for its load of flammable liquids in Newcastle.

On December 10, 2018, EPA officers conducted an inspection of a Vellex-contracted vehicle at Kooragang and found the truck had not properly secured its load of 72 drums containing flammable liquids.

The EPA alleges that inspection revealed that the vehicle failed to meet several safety requirements including:

  • the drums were not stowed behind rigid sides as required by the Australian Dangerous Goods Code,
  • not carrying compliant transport documentation or emergency information, and
  • not equipped with the required Emergency Information Holders, fire extinguisher, eye wash kit or intrinsically safe torch.

The EPA issued three penalty notices totalling $8000 for the alleged offences.

The truck driver was also issued with an Official Caution.

The EPA also issued cautions to Vellex in 2017 for similar failures.

EPA Director Hunter Region Karen Marler said the safety requirements for dangerous loads were necessary to ensure community and environmental safety.

""The dangerous goods safety requirements are non-negotiable," Ms Marler said.

"If these non-compliant vehicles were to be involved in an accident, the lack of safety devices would mean the driver and the community would be at an elevated risk and the emergency services response would be hindered.

"The EPA and NSW Police continue to undertake dangerous goods inspections to ensure the safety of those in the transport chain and to minimise the risks to first responders, the community and the environment."

Vellex has committed to implement revised procedures and systems to ensure compliance in transporting dangerous goods.

Penalty notices are one of several tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.

For more information about the EPA's regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

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