In recent years two large chemical fires have occurred in Melbourne's Western suburbs at sites where dangerous goods were stored. The unsafe storage and handling of dangerous goods poses a real threat to the safety of workers, businesses and even local communities.
In response to these incidents and as part of the Victorian Government Inquiry into Recycling and Waste Management, WorkSafe Victoria has established the Dangerous Goods Strategic Inspections (DGSI) program to support and promote the safe handling and storage of dangerous goods.
The DGSI program has three main objectives:
- identify workplaces who handle, store or transport the largest quantities of dangerous goods
- provide ongoing engagement and expert advice regarding dangerous goods safety
- improve compliance with dangerous goods legislation
The DGSI program involves identifying and collaborating with workplaces to support them in all aspects of dangerous goods safety in the workplace. This will mostly occur through physical inspections of the workplace.
How workplaces are assessed to become part of the DGSI program
WorkSafe has assessed Victorian workplaces to determine which of those handle, store or transport the largest quantities of dangerous goods. Workplaces have been assessed using a variety of information sources including previous workplace visits by WorkSafe, EPA Victoria and emergency services, as well as dangerous goods storage and handling notifications information. Workplaces identified as managing the largest quantities of dangerous goods will become part of the DGSI program.
What an inspection from the DGSI team involves
If your workplace has been identified as part of the DGSI program you will be contacted by a member of the team to discuss the program and arrange an inspection.
An inspector from the DGSI team will visit your workplace, offer safety advice and assess the effectiveness of your risk controls for managing dangerous goods. The timing and frequency of future DGSI inspections will depend on the activities undertaken at your workplace, quantity and classes of dangerous goods and the controls implemented. The inspector will discuss an ongoing inspection plan with you during the first visit and timeframes of following visits.