Victorians are being asked to keep a lookout for dodgy operators and to whistleblow on employers that may be storing or handling dangerous goods in a way that is putting the community at risk.
In August, Victoria’s Dangerous Goods Amendment (Penalty Reform) Bill 2019 was introduced into Parliament – a Bill that would see ‘rogue operators’ who stockpile dangerous chemicals face up to 10 years in jail (see related article).
Body corporates who are found guilty of this offence could face fines of more than $6.4 million.
And now, members of the public are being urged to call WorkSafe Victoria if they see something that “doesn’t look, sound or smell right.”
The six-week campaign features print, digital, radio, social media and outdoor advertising targeting high-risk locations.
The message will also be translated into 10 different languages to raise awareness among the high number of migrant workers employed in the storage and handling of dangerous goods – workers WorkSafe says are particularly vulnerable to working in unsafe conditions.
Transport drivers and more than 25,000 workplaces associated with the storage and handling of dangerous goods are also targeted, to make sure they report unsafe practices and to increase their awareness of their obligations under the Dangerous Goods Act.
The campaign comes as WorkSafe also leads a government agency taskforce to remove millions of litres of illegally stored chemical waste from 13 warehouses in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy said employers who manufacture, store, transport, transfer, sell or use dangerous goods have a duty to keep their workers, the community and the environment safe.
“We know that the unsafe storing, handling or disposal of dangerous chemicals poses a real threat to local communities.”
“If something doesn’t look, sound or smell or right where you work or where you live, play it safe and report it.”
WorkSafe’s advisory service: 1800 136 089