When is a dangerous goods site also a major hazard facility (MHF)?

What is a major hazard facility (MHF)?

A place is a major hazard facility (MHF) if:

  • it stores, handles or processes quantities of specified dangerous goods that exceed specified threshold quantities
  • a major incident could occur at that place; and
  • the department’s Chief Dangerous Goods Officer has determined it to be an MHF.

Examples of MHFs include:

  • oil refineries
  • gas processing plants
  • large chemical manufacturing plants

These sites need a sophisticated safety management system to adequately address the potential risks of a major incident, such as explosions, fires, toxic chemical releases or an emission or loss of containment of a Schedule 1 substance.

Schedule 1 substances are listed in the Dangerous Goods Safety (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2007.

What legislation applies to MHFs in Western Australia?

The legislation requires MHFs to have a dangerous goods licence and comply with MHF regulations, as well as the applicable storage and handling, explosives and security risk substances regulations.

Operators must:

  • demonstrate the measures taken to identify all foreseeable major incidents
  • assess the likelihood and consequences of those incidents and
  • justify the adequacy of the control measures used to minimise onsite and offsite risks.

Requirement to notify Chief Officer if critical quantity exceeded

Places that intend to have quantities of Schedule 1 substances greater than the critical quantity are required to notify the Chief Officer. The critical quantity is 10 per cent of the threshold quantity listed in the regulations.