As the COVID recovery continues and business operators are achieving some breathing room, inspectors of every stripe are also coming back to site. SafeWork NSW is back to business as usual and is encouraging operators to review a few basics now, before an inspector arrives on site. The DG Notification requirements are not onerous, but they can be an item that is overlooked, particularly when changes are made during a pandemic, so now is the time to review the requirements and make a Notification Update so that it reflects the reality onsite – before the inspectors arrive. DG Notification in NSW will be the focus of this weeks Safety Highlight.
If the business stores, handles or processed Schedule 11 hazardous chemicals (dangerous goods) that exceed the legislated quantities notification must be made to SafeWork NSW.
“All service stations will need to notify as a Schedule 11 site as they will have a mix of products and quantities that make them ‘notifiable’ under the Act” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.
Notification is simple and can be done online.
When a business first starts using, storing or handling dangerous goods they will need to do an initial notification.
“The notification process replaces the old DG Licencing process that some Members would be familiar with, as such most mature businesses may not be aware of the program. New site and new operator businesses have to submit an Initial Notification” explains Elisha.
To do an Initial Notification to SafeWork NSW the business will need to gather some information and documents ready for upload including;
- Completed Form (or use the online form)
- Manifest (a detailed listing of the types and quantities of DG stored onsite)
- A Site Plan *
- Emergency Response Plan (for co-lodgement with Fire NSW)
*Site Plans have a detailed list of requirements and will be the subject of next weeks Safety Highlight
“What many businesses may not realise, is that there is a series of times that the Notification will need to be updated. This includes; when there is a change to the way the DG is stored or sold, such as moving from an aboveground tank to an underground tank; when the business stops selling a particular product or stops using a particular tank; when the contact details (including phone numbers) for the responsible person and the emergency contact is changed; when there is change of ownership or; when the acknowledgment of notification is lost or destroyed” outlines Elisha.
Updates to the Initial Notification are required in a series of situations;
- When the businesses stops using, storing or handling DG – notification with amendment closure record to be submitted
- When an underground DG tank is no longer used to store DG – notification, manifest and site plan to be updated and submitted
- When there is a change of ownership – notification with the amendment new owner option selected to be submitted
- When there is a change in contact details – notification with the amendment contact details option selected to be submitted
- When the business can not find/read clearly the most recent acknowledgement of notification (which it must have onsite) – notification with the replacement acknowledgement option to be submitted
“While all of these situations require Notification Updates, it is the circumstances where the business stops selling a particular product or using a particular tank that are critical for the business to understand” explains Elisha.
“What many businesses do not understand is that it is often the combination of products, or the presence of a particular type of tank/tank combination that results in the site being classified not just as ‘Notifiable’ but also as a ‘potential Mass Hazard Facility’. This classification has implications on the SafeWork NSW audit and review activities. So businesses that do not update their Notifications to reflect the removal of a product, for example, may find themselves on an audit and review schedule that is to a higher level than it would otherwise be” continues Elisha.
Learnings for Business
“Put simply it is a breach of the legislation for a business to fail to notify and to ensure the notification is up to date. Notification is simple and ensures that the site is not subject to a higher standard of inspector involvement than is appropriate for its actual activities. The time to review the Notification status for the sites is now” concluded Elisha.
Take Action Now
All NSW fuel site operators should take the following actions now;
- Locate a copy of the latest Notification Acknowledgement – if it cannot be located an update will be required
- Review the latest Notification to ensure that it accurately reflects the products, tanks, quantities and contact details at the site – if it does not an update will be required
- Watch out for next weeks Safety Highlight that will explore the specific Site Plan requirements – and then make a plan to update your Site Plan sooner rather than later
Getting it done
Schedule 11 threshold quantities – https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2017/404/sch11
SafeWork NSW General information on Notification – https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/notify-safework/dangerous-goods-notifications
SafeWork NSW Online Notification Form – https://forms.business.gov.au/smartforms/servlet/SmartForm.html?formCode=notification-of-sche&tmFormVersion
SafeWork NSW Notification Guide (includes sample Manifest and Site Plan) – https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/51959/SW08219-0818-427091.pdf
Here to Help
Safety Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice. You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor. ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via firstname.lastname@example.org , it is free for members. ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/ for more information.
Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)