Toll North to pay almost $20,000 for dangerous goods breaches
The freight transport company Toll North Pty Ltd has been fined a total of $9,680 and ordered to pay $10,000 in costs after pleading guilty to two dangerous goods offences in the Downing Centre Local Court last week.
In March 2012, Toll North was engaged to provide transport for a consignment of 21,000L of toluene diisocyanate. Toluene diisocyanate is a toxic chemical which can cause severe injury or death, and is listed as a dangerous good in the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code). Toll North subcontracted the transportation to another company, which was not licensed to transport dangerous goods.
The Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) Director of Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health Craig Lamberton said the truck carrying the toluene diisocyanate was pulled over in Botany during a joint dangerous goods compliance campaign with officers from Roads and Maritime Services and the EPA on 28 March 2012.
"During the inspection, EPA officers identified a number of breaches of the ADG Code, including: neither the vehicle nor driver were licensed to carry dangerous goods, the truck was not placarded as required, and there was a lack of transport documents, emergency information and safety equipment on board."
"Given the dangerous nature of this cargo, compliance with the dangerous goods code is paramount. Without appropriate safety equipment and training of those who deal with dangerous goods, there could be a real risk of harm to the environment and the community if something went wrong," Mr Lamberton said.
Toll North pleaded guilty to an offence of not providing proper transport documentation and was fined $2,640. The company also pleaded guilty to an offence for engaging someone who did not have adequate instruction and training for dangerous goods transport and was fined $7,040.
When sentencing Toll North, Magistrate O'Sullivan said that general deterrence was a "paramount consideration", and that all those "who handle dangerous chemicals must be regarded as under a heavy obligation to the rest of the community to do so with the utmost care".
"The EPA welcomes this result and believes it will send a strong message to all in the industry of their responsibility to carry dangerous safely, ensuring all drivers, including contractors, have adequate training and equipment on board to carry out their jobs safely without undue risk to themselves, others and the environment," Mr Lamberton said.
"The EPA has recently provided training to Roads and Maritime inspectors and police officers on assessing compliance with dangerous goods requirements. The increase in the number of officers carrying out inspections means that drivers or transport companies operating in breach of the rules are more likely to be caught."
Source: NSW EPA
What we say:
We think this sums it up: "Given the dangerous nature of this cargo, compliance with the dangerous goods code is paramount. Without appropriate safety equipment and training of those who deal with dangerous goods, there could be a real risk of harm to the environment and the community if something went wrong..."
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