08 October 2015

The National Bulk Tanker Association’s (NBTA) annual Bulk Tanker Day drew more than 250 attendees to Sandown Racecourse in Melbourne last week, with Chairman Justin Keast calling it another important milestone for the tanker community.

“It’s a practical event with emergency response demonstrations as well as maintenance workshops and panel sessions and well supported by industry operators, suppliers and a number of jurisdictions,” explained Perkins – pointing out that the panel sessions on the day featured both regulators and enforcement personnel from RMS NSW, EPA NSW as well as WorkSafe Victoria, the NTC and VicRoads.

According to Keast, “there is no doubt that the working relationship between the NBTA and the fire agencies through AFAC, as well as with some of the east coast regulators is working very well. At this years conference we have started to see some interesting numbers in terms of incidents that can only help in the development of more evidenced based strategy.

“However what we lack is information on incidents and the sharing of root cause analysis work that should be done and shared after dangerous goods incidents. No one agency seems to have data on the number of incidents let alone the capability to share the outcomes of these incidents,” he added.

“Without this sharing it becomes very difficult to share lessons and improve outcomes.  It is time to have a serious discussion with responsible authorities around the data that is needed to lead this industry into a safer future.”

The day also highlighted the move by individual States to adopt positions on standards for vehicles that are not being picked up at the national level.  Whilst this is within the rights of each jurisdiction, it will lead to increased costs and the risk that those States with lesser regulations receiving the cast off equipment from other jurisdictions.

“It is disappointing and frustrating that we don’t have a national position on roll stability systems for tankers,” said Keast.

“The NBTA has publicly supported the introduction of these systems for over four years, yet only NSW has acted to bring this about. We also now face the possibility of NSW enacting tanker testing that will again not be a national condition.

“If its not a national position it will add to the challenges of all jurisdictions, and also add cost to industry at a time where we want that focus to be on safety and not juggling different State driven schemes.”

The next twelve months will see a move to rework the existing Bulk Tanker Standard AS2809 and this could prove the opportunity to achieve the national outcomes that our industry seeks, said Keast.

Bulk Tanker Day will be held in September 2016 at Sandown and will also hold a Sydney event in 2016.

Extracted in full from Trailer Magazine.