Resources Safety administers the legislation for safe storage and handling of dangerous goods in Western Australia.
Under the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004, sites storing or handling dangerous goods may require licensing and compliance with the Dangerous Goods Safety (Storage and Handling of Non-explosives) Regulations 2007 and the Dangerous Goods Safety (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2007, if applicable. If ammonium nitrate is being stored or handled at a site, then compliance with the Dangerous Goods Safety (Security Risk Substances) Regulations 2007 may also apply.
The development and preparation of proposals to store dangerous goods is a complex undertaking. It requires compliance with the Dangerous Goods Safety (Storage and Handling of Non-explosives) Regulations 2007 and a wide range of laws and standards. While Resources Safety does not provide technical advice to people wishing to store dangerous goods, it has prepared guidance material on the requirements for licensing of a dangerous goods site.
Resources Safety has accredited a number of consultants who are approved to prepare and submit dangerous goods storage and handling proposals. When you have a consultant endorse your proposal as complying with the regulations, the Resources Safety examination fee is waived. Most submissions are received in this way.
Resources Safety can also assess applications for a dangerous goods site licence. However, its core business is regulation, and resources available for assessment of applications are dependant on work loads generated from core activities. The assessment time for applications submitted to Resources Safety without accredited consultant endorsement is approximately three months and additional fees apply. If your submission is deficient, the processing time may be increased.
Dangerous goods site licences are issued on a five yearly basis and may be renewed. Only the fees for the first year of the licence are to be lodged with the application. Fees for subsequent years will be billed annually.
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Does my site need to be licensed?
There are numerous factors to be considered depending on type of product being stored and handled, method of storage (ground level, underground, packages, manufacture or process, etc.) containment, quantity and location.
Of particular note, is the need for licence applications to include locations where dangerous goods may be manufactured or processed at the site and the quantities involved.
To answer these questions please refer to Dangerous Goods Safety Guidance Note S01/09 � licensing and exemptions for storage and handling of dangerous goods or alternatively contact an accredited dangerous goods consultant, both of which are listed in the reference material section below.
Many people storing or handling licensable quantities of dangerous goods prior to 1/3/2008 may have let their licence lapse. After 1/3/2008, dangerous goods sites that were not the subject of a valid licence (i.e. paid up) are no longer considered licensed and do not comply with the regulations. Site operators need to determine if their dangerous goods storage is either:
- below manifest levels in which case the site does not need to be licensed, but certain safety provisions must be maintained; or
- above manifest levels in which case a new application for licence must be submitted. Please contact an accredited dangerous goods consultant for further assistance.
The regulations require that where licensing of dangerous goods sites is required, then storage and handling of dangerous goods is not to take place until such time as the licence has been issued by Resources Safety. It is essential that matters relating to design, construction, location and associated items comply with the regulations and approved codes of practice e.g. relevant Australian Standards.
The flowchart will help you determine whether your site needs to be licensed.
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Major hazard facility (MHF) notification
Licensed dangerous goods sites above certain thresholds are subject to assessment to determine if they are to be managed as MHFs under the Dangerous Goods Safety (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2007.
Typically, all applications for dangerous goods sites where dangerous goods may be present above a critical quantity of 10% of the major hazard facility threshold are considered by the Chief Officer to determine if the site should be declared as a MHF. Some critical quantities at which notification is required for dangerous goods sites as potential MHFs are given below.
Further information on the notification process is available on the Resources Safety website.
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Native title matters
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples published March 2008, and supported by the Australian Federal Government, contains the following article which is for the attention of all applicants:
'States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.'
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- Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004
- Dangerous Goods Safety (Storage and Handling of Non-explosives) Regulations 2007
- Dangerous Goods Safety (Security Risk Substances) Regulations 2007
- Dangerous Goods Safety (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2007
(downloads of the Act and regulations are available free on the State Law Publisher�s website at www.slp.wa.gov.au)
- Dangerous Goods Safety Guidance Note S01/09 - Licensing and exemptions for storage and handling of dangerous goods
- Code of practice for the design, installation and operation of underground storage systems
- Code of practice for the storage and handling of dangerous goods
- Dangerous goods sites - emergency planning code
- Operator notification form - Schedule 1 substances - MHF regulations
- List of companies and consultants approved to examine and endorse dangerous goods storage and handling proposals
- Schedule of prescribed fees and charges for dangerous goods licences
(available from www.dmp.wa.gov.au/ResourcesSafety)
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