Victorians are being asked to keep a look out for dodgy operators storing or handling dangerous goods in a way that might put the community at risk.
An Andrews Labor Government awareness campaign has been launched urging members of the public to call WorkSafe if they suspect dangerous goods – such as drums or containers of flammable liquids – are being stored, handled or disposed of in a way which might be unsafe.
The campaign comes after legislation was introduced creating tough new penalties for the illegal storage and handling of dangerous goods, which could see individuals face up to 10 years in jail and body corporates fined more than $6.4 million for the most serious offences.
Members of the public are being asked to speak up if they see something that they think doesn’t look, sound or smell right.
The six-week campaign features print, digital, radio, social media and outdoor advertising targeting high risk locations.
The message will be translated into 10 different languages to raise awareness among the high number of migrant workers employed in the storage and handling of dangerous goods as they are particularly vulnerable to working in unsafe conditions.
Transport drivers and more than 25,000 workplaces associated with the storage and handling of dangerous goods are also targeted, to make sure they report unsafe practices and to increase their awareness of their obligations under the Dangerous Goods Act.
WorkSafe is responsible for enforcing the Dangerous Goods Act and is leading a government agency taskforce to remove millions of litres of illegally stored chemical waste from 13 warehouses in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
The clearing of these sites is well underway with approximately 7.1 million litres of waste chemicals having been removed thus far.
Anyone concerned about the storage and handling of dangerous goods can call WorkSafe’s advisory service on 1800 136 089.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy
“Those who manufacture, store, transport, transfer, sell or use dangerous goods have a duty to keep their workers, the community and the environment safe.”
“We know that the unsafe storing, handling or disposal of dangerous chemicals poses a real threat to local communities.”
“If something doesn’t look, sound or smell or right where you work or where you live, play it safe and report it.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020