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The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Date: 
Tuesday, 22 January, 2019 - 12:45
Category: 
Policy & legislation
Location: 
Victoria

WorkSafe, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and other government agencies recently took action to remove stored chemicals discovered at a number of sites in Epping and Campbellfield.

Testing confirmed that flammable liquids were present in waste material and were not being safely stored at eight sites inspected by authorities.

WorkSafe Victoria determined that directly controlling the operation was the best way to ensure the chemicals were dealt with as quickly and safely as possible.

This led to the removal operation, which is expected to take a number of months – supported by the EPA, fire agencies and local councils.

Under Victoria’s Dangerous Goods Act, which is administered by WorkSafe, duty holders who breach regulations in relation to the storage and handling of dangerous goods are required to take action to ensure their sites comply with the law.

However, WorkSafe can step in and directly engage independent experts to remove the chemicals, if it believes it necessary. It also has the power to recover costs from the duty holder.

Fire prevention measures have increased and investigations into the circumstances that led the chemicals to be stored at the sites are continuing.

Twenty-four hour security remains in place at all sites and WorkSafe is working with the EPA and local councils to ensure the community is kept informed as the matter progresses.