Hazardous Materials: Veteran Still Hasn’t Received Compo Despite Successful Claim

Hazardous MaterialsA Perth Veteran who participated in the  1958 atomic testing at the Montebello Islands is still tirelessly struggling to receive  compensation he is legally owed after willing a compo case in the federal courts.

Kenneth Whitby, 74 suffers from several ailments including an anxiety disorder,  following his exposure at the site.

Whitby’s case was undertaken by  WA Greens senator Scott Ludlum, who is confident that those who served in the Montebellos and two other atomic test sites should be subject to the  receiving  of the veterans’ Gold Card.

The card covers all medical costs, which is footed by the Government. Senator Ludlam recalled that many servicemen who had worked at  the sites, have since developed radiation-related disorders.

Whitby and hundreds of other veterans have been battling for recognition and compensation and accuse the Department of Veterans Affairs of dragging out their claims.

In June last year, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled Mr Whitby was entitled to compensation.

“What is the AAT there for,” Mr Whitby said.

“Remember that politician who fell off his bicycle near Parliament? They backdated his compensation.”

The DVA would not discuss Mr Whitby’s case when probed.

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/18451622/veteran-yet-to-get-compo/

Dangerous Goods: Chemical Leak and Boral Plant Fire In One Week

Hazardous ChemicalsA Caltex oil refinery in Brisbane was evacuated following a chemical leak which left four workers injured.

Emergency services rushed to the scene upon receiving reports of spilled chemical and vapour cloud emanating from the area. Queensland Fire and Rescue Spokesman said paramedics were on the site helping and treating the four individuals who were injured in the leak.

Reports indicated that the four workers weren’t seriously hurt but they are seeking treatment.

A Hazmat crew and scientific officer also joined the fire services at the scene. The leak is said to be under control and it is still undetermined how the leak was caused.

This incident follows the Boral Asphalt factory explosion.  The massive factory explosion rocked Narangba  and caused black smoke to be visible from a significant distance away.  Reports on how the factory explosion were also sketchy but fortunately all workers were accounted for. Boral is currently investigating an explosion that caused a fire at one of their plants in Queensland.

Six workers for the Boral plant were given the all clear by paramedics . The Company’s general manager said the explosion occurred when a holding tank suddenly released pressure.

The resulting blaze took up to eight fire crews to control.

Mr McGuire said there was no clear cause  for the explosion.

“We are working closely with the appropriate authorities and undertaking a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the accident,” he said in a statement.

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Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/workers-injured-after-chemical-leak-at-the-caltex-oil-refinery-in-east-brisbane/story-fndo1yus-1226481339549 



Dangerous Goods: Chemical Leaks Contaminates Workers

Dangerous Goods TrainingFour people had to be decontaminated and moved to an exclusion zone following a chemical leak from storage containers in the Port of Brisbane.Emergency services were called to the scene early in the morning after reports revealed that potentially harmful chemicals were leaking onto a boat and the dock.

A spokesperson for the Department of Safety stated that the cause of leak was unclear as is the type of chemical that seeped from the containers.

Approximately four people were reported as suffering from mild headaches and bouts of nausea. They’ve since been treated by paramedics at the scene and will be decontaminated by Queensland Fire and Rescue service. The contaminated individuals will be held in the hospital as a precaution until it they are deemed safe and free of contamination.

A 50m exclusion zone was organized in short notice around the boat while fire fighters donning HAZMAT suits tested the air and attended to the leak.

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Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/four-workers-affected-by-chemicals-at-port-of-brisbane/story-e6freon6-1226427725011

Dangerous Goods: WorkSafe Concerned With Deadly Gas Storage

Dangerous Goods TrainingNT WorkSafe claim that many refrigeration and plumbing companies continue to endanger their employees lives regardless of two tradesmen’s deaths last year.

A 24-year old fridge mechanic was killed when his van blew up in his driveway. Less than a week later, a similar incident caused the death of a tradesman.  These deaths have launched inspections of air-conditioning and plumbing businesses by NT  WorkSafe.

According to Executive director Lauren Hull, inspectors have been compelled to issue prohibition notices to some businesses.

Hull stated that workers continue to carry oxyacetylene even though it could potentially cause a fatal accident.  She said that more than half of the businesses visited have ignored WorkSafe’s many pleas.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-03/worksafe-finding-gas-bottle-workers-at-risk/3987634?section=nt


Dangerous Goods:Parents Have Questions for WorkSafe over son’s death

Dangerous Goods trainingThe parents of a young trade worker have demanded answers from Victoria’s workplace safety watchdog regarding their son’s death from an exploded vehicle.  They believe the organisation failed to protect their son.

The refrigerator mechanic Joey Cosento, was in his van when it exploded because of a build-up of gas that ignited on the street.The parents have not been able to return to their home where the incident occurred and have opted to rent a house nearby.

Since the incident, windows are still boarded up and damage is still apparent in the area. The tradesman’s parents have described the scene as “the most horrific thing” they had ever seen.

A similar incident occurred in 2009 when gas bottles caused a van to explode. It is alleged that one of the gas bottles in Joey’s van was leaking. His parents claim that if WorkSafe had done more to tighten regulations on the storage of gas bottles, that their son may not have died. Mr.Corsentino believes that WorkSafe should have patrolled more efficiently, and did their job in ensuring their son’s safety.

WorkSafe spokesman Michael Birt stated that there are indeed industry education programs dealing with the  safe storage of gas bottles. Birt added that it was the employer’s responsibility to enforce safety regulations. WorkSafe has launched an investigation despite the fact that the Consentinos have yet to discuss with WorkSafe regarding their concerns.

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Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/young-tradie-joey-cosentino-should-not-have-died/story-fn7x8me2-1226269144563

Dangerous Goods:WorkSafe Orders Clean Up of Dangerous Spill

Dangerous Goods TrainingA Northern Territory safety authority says it is satisfied a dangerous mineral spill has been cleaned up. The Dangerous Goods incident occurred when an Adelaide to Darwin train derailed causing the spill.

Approximately, 1,200 tonnes of copper concentrate trickled into the Edith River when a freight train encountered a flooded rail. After the spill, NT Worksafe instructed Oz Minerals to clean up the spill before the end of January.

Reports have indicated that most of the spill has been effectively eliminated from the site surrounding the rail crossing. Oz Minerals was granted a pass from dangerous goods transport laws to carry the mineral in containers covered by tarpaulins.

The company stated that the use of sealed containers will be implemented to carry copper concentrate to Darwin by the end of next month.

The damaged rail is likely to be in working order by the middle of February.Currently, the Territory Environment Protection Authority has claimed that it is investigating another toxic hazard in the Edith River.

The flash flooding that caused the derailment also caused the uncontrolled release of waste water from a retention pond at the mine site.The EPA claims to be actively monitoring the briefs on water quality in Edith River and further downstream because of the spill and derailment.

The EPA stated that they have questions regarding both incidents, primarily regarding any potential environmental issues. After more testing has been conducted a decision will be made on whether a formal inquiry will be held.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-03/20120203-edith-river-copper-spill-cleanup/3809628?section=nt

Dangerous Goods: Work Safety Investigation into Workers’ Contact With Chemical

hazardous chemicals and substances


ACT work safety authorities will be conducting an investigation into the exposure of the two electricians to toxic chemicals in a Civic office building. Unions have stated that they are extremely concerned with the incident and are fearful that other older buildings may be contaminated.

Both workers were hospitalised after being sprayed with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBS, a toxic chemical that can cause skin rashes in the best of circumstances, and damage to the liver and nervous system, in the most extreme cases.

The workers were exposed to the fluid whyen a light fixture they were replacing exploded in the computer room.  Both electricians were taken to Canberra Hospital to undergo monitoring.

The Electrical Trade Union stated that PCBs had not been used in light fittings for decades. Thus, the union is deeply concerned by the incident. The Unions NSW-ACT assistant secretary Nevile Betts demanded that the owner of the building search the light fittings throughout the rest of the 11-storey building.

The liquid should have been removed during campaigns to remove PCBS from buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to Betts. Betts has also pledged that they will be contacted the owners of the building to launch a thorough audit of the lights and equipment of the building. If any PCBs or any Hazardous Materials and Substances, are found they will be removed using the proper procedures.

Approximately 60 workers were evacuated from the eight floor, and were prohibited from returning the next day.

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Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/probe-into-workers-contact-with-chemical/2442629.aspx

Mining Company Ordered To Clean Up Dangerous Goods

Dangerous Goods TrainingA mining company has received orders to clean up  the site of a derailed train in the Northern Territory. Approximately 1,200 tonnes of toxic mineral ore copper concentrate has washed up from the train and into a river during a flash flood.

WorkSafe has declared that the material is a health and environment concern. Oz Minerals has been granted until the end of the month to transport any remaining material to the South Australian border. Oz Minerals was granted special permission to transport the ore in tarpaulin covered wagons, despite the practice being currently prohibited.

WorkSafe has allegedly relaxed the rules in order to ensure that the copper concentrate is quickly taken to the border.  Concerns have arisen regarding the potential of wet season rain and storms washing the left over ore into the river.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-07/miner-ordered-to-clean-up-train-spill/3762322

Orica Plant Leaks Dangerous Chemical

dangerous goodsOrica chief executive, Graeme Liebelt believes that the recent leak of the carcinogenic chemical,hexavalent chromium, into a suburban town should be considered “not serious”. Libelt made this claim at the same enquiry in which the company admitted to having lost control of the ammonia plant.

Variations from operating procedure merged with other factors to ”overwhelm” a containment system were  initiated to capture overflow during a procedure to restock supplies of hexavalent chromium, the inquiry revealed.

A nightshift worker immediately realised there must’ve been a chromium leak when he saw yellow spots on the plant. He believed the problem had been immediately resolved until he was warned of yellow liquid seeping through the pin-holes. This discovery prompted a decision for emergency shut down.

Ark Griffin, a local and editor of the Stockton Messenger, advised the committee that he had discovered skin lesions and other symptoms of chromium VI poisoning following a walkthrough of an area well out of of Orica’s official clean up zones.

Various prominent individuals are calling for the plant to be permanently shut down.Orica still maintains their statement, that the leak is “not serious”. The inquiry continues


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OHS Training – Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Training Now Available Online

dangerous goods imdg trainingEvery shore-side worker dealing with dangerous goods transportation will be excited to learn that they can now take the proper (and required) Dangerous Goods (IMDG) training courses online with AlertForce.com.au.


PRLog (Press Release) – Jul 05, 2011 – Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce, is currently the only company that offers online Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) approved Dangerous Goods training courses for Amendment 35-10 of the IMDG code (see: http://www.amsa.gov.au/Shipping_Safety/cargoes_and_dange …).

Since Amendment 34 of the IMDG Code, these courses became mandatory for any shore-side employee who works with dangerous goods transported by the sea.

“Failing to complete this training can result in delays, fines, or rejected consignments. By taking part in these regulation-approved online training classes, companies can ensure that their reputation is secure and intact.” said company founder, Brendan Torazzi.

Since the training courses are online, AlertForce has created a cost effective way to get the proper occupational health- and-safety training courses for a variety shore-side professions such as:

– Container Packers and Consolidators
– Port Staff
– Shippers and Forwarders
– Shipping Line Operations and Booking Staff
– Stevedores
– Cargo Surveyors

The courses in the IMDG training focus on aspects such as; descriptions of various dangerous goods classes, labeling, marking, stowing, and packing. Everyone enrolled in training will be taught the functions that pertain to their daily professions.

The Dangerous Goods safety training class is $225.00. Upon signing up for the class you will receive your login details and tax invoice via email. Any company that is involved in exporting shipping Dangerous Goods overseas (including Tasmania) and needs to produce MO41’s is affected by the AMSA requirements and requires training.

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AlertForce (https://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in Australian workplaces.

Source: http://www.prlog.org/11570593-ohs-training-dangerous-goods-imdg-training-now-available-online.html

Dangerous Goods Training: The Follow Through

dangerous goodsDangerous good training programs are extremely helpful in covering the rules and the regulations for everyone involved in working with dangerous goods but this training also covers the proper way to store, handle and transport these goods so that they pose less of a risk to your employees, your company, the waterways and the public at large.

However, because this training covers a lot of material in a small amount of time following through on the dangerous goods training at your own company will help ensure that you are not only in compliance with all the rules and regulations but that you are ensuring the safety of your employees as well.

If you are looking for some easy and low cost ways to follow through on that dangerous goods training here are some tips that can help you do that.

Posting The Important Main Points Up In Specific Work Areas

Using posters that serve as reminders and check lists can help employees remember the main points they learned in their dangerous goods training. For example, in the storage area you can post up signs reminding employees of special storage safety procedures, checking seals and where and how they can store containers containing dangerous goods.

Posters can also be used in the transport/shipping area as well. Reminders to wear safety clothing and to wash properly may seem a bit silly but can do wonders to increase the safety of handling dangerous materials.

Manual Handling Spot Checks

Spot checks can alert you to any mishandling of dangerous materials and is a great way to follow through on that dangerous materials training. It also has the added advantage of keeping those employees who tend to get lazy and take short cuts on their toes and complete their jobs properly for fear of sanctions such as time off work for being careless.

The Benefits Of Follow Through To You The Employer

Taking time to follow through on that Dangerous goods training has many benefits for your company. First if you keep records of your spot checks and post reminders on the handling and transport of these goods and an accident happens you have proof that you exercised due diligence in trying to protect your employees and the community.

Second, failure to comply with the rules and regulations of handling and transporting dangerous goods can cost you a ton of money both in fines and hold up on transporting. By following through the training, you are much more likely to stay in compliance than you are by simply just assuming that everyone understands what they learned and are applying it.

Third, by following through on the training you will earn the reputation of someone who really cares about their employees and the public’s well fare. In the long run, this may well lead to more business as people and other businesses will see you as someone to trust.

So take that Dangerous Goods Training one step further and follow through by spot checks and reminders and create a safer environment for all.

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