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Understanding the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act

The Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act establishes official guidelines for Dangerous Goods Storage and Containment and identifies features of near misses and accidents as well as methods of handling them responsibly. When legislators created the act, they had an eye on making future strategies that work with a wide range of circumstances. More information about the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act is below.

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History of the Act

In 2001, the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act was passed by legislators in Queensland, Australia. Just as with other newly created legislation, this act has been designed for compatibility with other new legislation while still being overridden by other pieces of legislation. Among the acts that overrule the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act are the Radiation Act of 1999, the Explosives Act of 1999 and the Petroleum and Gas Act of 2004.

Importance of the Act

Legislators passed the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act after recognizing the rising concerns of the public regarding the natural environment and the damage being wrought on nature by dangerous materials. A set of guidelines was necessary for a structured approach to handle hazardous materials throughout the country. The new legislation ultimately covered a broad range of issues, including emergencies, investigations into accidents and the mapping of locations that contain hazardous materials.

Major Points to Consider

The Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act was designed to be flexible to suit the wide range of situations it governs. This is particularly true of its Recognized Standards. The minister can easily consult these guidelines, which can be admitted in proceedings that use the guidelines provided by the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act. In addition, the act clearly identifies major hazard facilities as those that handle amounts of dangerous materials that are “more than the quantity under a regulation” or that may reach those proportions at a later time. Finally, there is the stipulation concerning the appointments made by the chief executive. Officers chosen to enforce the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act must possess sufficient experience, training and professional qualifications.

Effects on Governed Entities

The Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act requires some entities to be licensed in order to handle flammable and combustible liquids. In each case, the question of whether a license is required rests on the type of business, the location used for storing the liquids and the total amount of flammable or combustible liquids involved. In quite a few cases, businesses do not require any license under the act. However, even when a business is not required to obtain a license, the entities still must handle the dangerous substances in compliance with standard health and safety regulations.

Serious Accidents

Serious accidents are the subject of what may be the most important section of the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act. This provision specifies that when a major accident occurs, the entity must immediately contact the chief executive to arrange for an investigation. Next, a written report must be created and the staff of the entity must be educated on how similar accidents can be avoided in the future. When near misses and accidents occur, they are automatically subject to being reviewed by a Board of Inquiry as required by the minister.

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