The Flood Preparation and Response Guideline is the latest in in the ACAPMA Best Practice Guideline series and provides detailed guidance to operators, contractors and site service providers on the safe and compliant preparation of a site for an incoming inundation, and importantly for the site ‘make safe’, remediation and reopening following a flood event.

The frequency and severity of flood events in eastern Australia has been extraordinary during 2022 with a number of communities in Queensland, south-western NSW and northern and central Victoria all experiencing flood levels not seen for more than 40 years.

“The ACAPMA Best Practice Guideline on Flood Preparation and Response has been developed with the input of regulators, experts, operators, equipment suppliers and contractors, to serve as a consolidated and detailed guidance resource and checklist for operators and contractors to utilise in what is an intense and period” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

“This particular Guideline has made it to publication due to the efforts and contributions of the ACAPMA Contractor Advisory Council particularly.  This council of industry leaders provide a conduit to deliver expert guidance to the ACAPMA Board and Secretariat on fuel systems, equipment and technical site operations and support, and they all have our sincere thanks for contributing to the codification and dissemination of best practice guidance to the broader industry” continued Elisha.

A flood event has a catastrophic impact on the community.  Fuel retailers (and wholesalers) are often the last to close and the first to open in an emergency or natural disaster.  The nature of the operation, as an essential service that powers emergency services and first responders, means that fuel operators stay open as long as possible before disasters and open as quickly as possible after them.

It is vital, however, that the comprehensive fuel systems are prepared for inundation with water and that safety checks are completed after an inundation to protect the business, the environment and the community. Failure to undertake the proper checks of the fuel system, and remedy any issues observed, represents a serious risk of selling contaminated fuel to consumers and/or discharging fuel into the natural environment.

“It therefore follows that, regardless of the pressure for the business to reopen quickly, failure to follow the proper process for commissioning a fuel system after a flood event risks serious ongoing reputational damage and/or financial loss for the operator”, explains ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

Given the increased incidence of flood events in the past years, ACAPMA has worked with regulators, experts, suppliers and contractors to develop the ACAPMA Best Practice Guideline for Flood Preparation and Response.

“This Best Practice Guideline explores the key considerations and responses and details them in a series of checklists for fuel expert contractors and fuel operators to follow to ensure they are considering and responding to the risks on their site”, continued Elisha.

“This includes checklists such as; Preparing for an Incoming Flood Event, Responding to a Stage 1 Flood Event, Responding to a Stage 2 Flood Event and Responding to a Stage 3 Flood Event, as well as a handy Consolidated Flood Event Response Checklist”, explains Elisha.

The ACAPMA Best Practice Guideline on Flood Preparation and Response joins the existing Best Practice Guideline (BPG) Series.

“With the release of the latest Guideline the development has commenced on the next BPG, which will focus on the calibration and verification of the trade measurement instruments onsite, the pumps, bringing together guidance on the standardisation of verification and calibration frameworks based on the size, configuration and throughput of sites.  All members are encouraged to reach out to ACAPMA if they would like to contribute to this particular BPG development process”, concluded Elisha.

To view the ACAPMA Best Practices Guidelines please see below;

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 employment@acapma.com.au  , 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)
ACAPMA

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