A chemical supply company was fined $5000 last week for failing to report a dangerous goods incident which caused significant burns to one of its workers.
The incident occurred at AGent Sales & Services in Bassendean on 10 March 2015 when a quantity of sulphuric acid spilt into a bund, a specially-built spill containment structure.
A supervisor entered the bund before the spill had been neutralised and received significant burns to his lower right leg, requiring skin grafts and ongoing medical care.
Department of Mines and Petroleum Dangerous Goods and Petroleum Safety Director Ross Stidolph said the injury constituted a dangerous goods incident and was required to be reported to a Dangerous Goods Officer.
“The Department of Mines and Petroleum was not notified by the company and only became aware of the incident after being contacted by WorkSafe and the injured supervisor’s wife,” Mr Stidolph said.
“Companies are required to report such incidents under the Dangerous Goods Safety Act (2004).”
While investigating the incident the department discovered that the company was unaware of its obligations regarding reportable incidents.
“Our investigations found that there had been other incidents which should have also been reported,” Mr Stidolph said.
“The importance of reporting dangerous goods incidents cannot be underestimated and is an integral part of the overall safety system.
“Reporting enables a thorough investigation of the incident and is an opportunity to improve safety.
“The lessons we can learn from such incidents can be applied across dangerous goods sites, not just the site where the incident occurred. This helps ensure the risk to people, property and the environment are minimised.”
Mr Stidolph said AGent Sales & Services worked cooperatively with the department.
“The company has proactively implemented significant changes to its systems and operations to improve overall safety at the site and ensure incidents are duly reported,” he said.