Blitz on dangerous chemicals will target inner west

WorkSafe will lead a blitz on industrial premises in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs to ensure that potentially dangerous chemicals are being stored correctly.


Starting next week, WorkSafe inspectors will conduct visits to ensure site occupiers are complying with regulations about the labelling, storage and handling of chemicals, and have the correct emergency controls and safety equipment in place.

They will be joined by inspectors from the Environment Protection Agency and supported by WorkSafe technical specialists, and those of the MFB.

The inspections will commence in the vicinity of the factory fire on Somerville Rd, Tottenham, and work through the surrounding industrial areas in suburbs including West Footscray and Braybrook.

Where inspectors identify workplaces that are not complying with the regulations they will issue enforcement notices ordering the issue to be rectified.

These inspections are in addition to the 500 strategic inspections WorkSafe will conduct across the state this financial year to assess the storage, handling and transport of dangerous goods. Many of these visits will target smaller sites.

Last financial year, WorkSafe issued more than 1200 enforcement notices requiring duty holders to comply with dangerous goods regulations or potentially face prosecution.

WorkSafe’s Chief of Business Operations, Marnie Williams, said the regulations applied to all sites, not just those considered to be workplaces under occupational health and safety legislation.

“Dangerous chemicals pose a serious risk to the health and safety of everyone in the community. Those risks are the same regardless of whether the chemicals are at a workplace or on a private property with no employees.”

“I would urge anyone who is operating any type of industrial site to take stock of the chemicals they have and ensure they are being stored and handled correctly, not just to avoid enforcement action, but for the safety of everyone.”

Victoria has a code of practice for the storage and handling of dangerous goods.