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In response to a request from one of our members, we asked Peter Vitali from WorkSafe’s Dangerous Goods Unit (more than 35 years experience in the petrochemical, paint, plastics and package manufacturing industry) to put together some advice on the storage of small quantities of dangerous goods.

The storage of small quantities of dangerous goods is a difficult area to deal with as the current OHS Regulations and Australian Standards have their own definitions of minor quantity levels with regards to the type of premises the dangerous goods are to be stored. 


There are different guidelines for storing small quantities of dangerous goods depending on what type of building it is.

In commercial buildings, factories, workshops, hospitals and warehouses up to 250 litres of flammable liquids can be stored:

  • in any 500 m2 floor area within the commercial premises
  • outside the commercial premises in an outhouse or shed separated by a one hour fire rated wall.

Mixed classes of dangerous goods are generally limited to up to 250kg or litres provided they are general retail dangerous goods.

A guide for storage at private residences is:

  • up to five litres of flammable liquids in the residence
  • up to 25 litres in a garage attached to the residence
  • up to 100 litres outdoors or in a shed separated from the residence by at least one metre
  • up to 250 litres outdoors or in a shed or garage, separate from the residence or any structure or building by either three metres or a two-hour fire rated wall.

Up to 250 litres of mixed classes of dangerous goods can be stored in a residential outdoor building provided all the dangerous goods are in consumer commodity pack sizes purchased from a retailer for private home use.

For commercial buildings, factories, workshops, hospitals and warehouses 250kg or litres of general dangerous goods are considered minor amounts when in consumer packaging (oil base paints, caustic cleaners, methylates spirits, turpentine etc and aerosol cans). Provided these dangerous goods are kept in a cool dry and well-ventilated area in their original sealed containers, the risks associated with spills leaks and fire should be reduced to reasonable levels.

Many building owners use fire safety cabinets with a capacity to hold up to 250 litres. These cabinets are not mandatory but do provide an extra level of safety and assist in keeping the dangerous goods in one area. Aerosols, tins of paint and corrosive products can be stored in the same cabinet provided they have their own spill trays and are not placed directly above the aerosols cans.

For more information on storage of minor quantities of dangerous goods, read:

  • Storage and handling of dangerous goods code of practice
  • AS1940 The storage and handling of combustible liquids and AS3833 The storage and handling of mixed classes of dangerous goods in mixed packages and intermediate bulk containers.

Further guidance can be found at

For further advice contact WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

VicRoads has announced that load limit restrictions will be imposed on the Victoria Street Bridge in Richmond, in addition to current traffic restrictions.

From 10 August 2011 all vehicles using the bridge must weight no more than 30 tonnes(exceptions are trams). This load limit will apply until further notice.


The restrictions have been put in place to enable maintenance works to take place.


VicRoads has suggested alternate routes for heavy vehicles – trucks travelling along Victoria Street/Barkers Road can use Burnley Street, Bridge Road and Church Street.
In two separate recent incidents, a Roller and a Water Truck have rolled over during road construction works on VicRoads projects. In both instances the vehicles left the constructed surface, slid down embankments and overturned onto their sides. The vehicles fell down embankments varying in height from 1.2 to 5 metres.

In both incidents the driver / operator was injured. If seatbelts are not worn, the driver is not restrained from ejection from the vehicle and significant and perhaps fatal injuries are possible during a rollover. A truck driver can fall at least 2.5 metres from their seat to the other side of the cabin and sustain significant injuries from being thrown around inside a rolling vehicle. Unsecured drivers may also be ejected from the cabin and crushed by the rolling vehicle.

MPD Management Responsibilities

Could all Contract Administrators and Surveillance Managers ensure Contractors conduct Risk Assessments for mobile plant and vehicle work near embankments and excavations, and that risk controls eliminate or substantially reduce the risk of a fall or roll over from height.

In compliance with Plant Regulations 711 (1) and 711 (2) and in addition to any controls to prevent a fall or roll over, all plant working near excavations, maintenance pits, verges, ramps or embankments shall be fitted with Roll Over Protection (ROP’s) or Cabins and fitted with Seat Belts. The wearing of seat belts should be mandatory in this situation to prevent ejection and crushing of the operator by the plant during the rollover.

Under the Plant Regulations 106 (4), vehicles such as Trucks require the same consideration when being operated on a road construction project. In addition to the activity risk assessment considering the risk of a roll over, the wearing of seat belts during the movement of all vehicles on site must be an essential consideration to reduce injuries and prevent fatalities should any traffic incident occur on site. In effect, the rules should not differ from travel on a public road.

The wearing of Seat Belts during all plant and vehicle movements on road construction sites, in addition to speed restrictions, signage and the delineation of ‘edges’ so far as practicable, shall be included in activity risk assessments and are recommended for inclusion in site safety rules.

On the 1st of January 2007 the State Govt introduced the need for a Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC). Any person requiring unescorted access within a maritime security zone is required to display a MSIC.

All MSIC will expre in 2011.  You can renew for eitther 2 or 4 years.


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