Industry tackles tanker safety

The trucking industry is promoting a new training scheme to improve tanker safety and reduce the impact of accidents

By Brad Gardner | August 26, 2010

The trucking industry is teaming with the fire brigade representative body in a bid to improve the way bulk tanker emergencies are handled.

The National Bulk Tanker Association (NBTA) has developed a new training program designed specifically for bulk tanker emergencies and has won the endorsement of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC).

The training program will be launched in October and run by registered training organisations (RTO). It will teach participants on how to develop training skills, deal with on-site issues and correctly clean up spills.

NBTA Executive Rob Perkins says more work needs to be done to improve the way tanker emergencies are handled.

He says fire fighters are not trained to deal with the various amounts of chemicals that may spill from a rollover or how to move a tanker without causing further damage to the vehicle, load and environment.

"One of our challenges is that when things go wrong…the issue then becomes how to deal with it," Perkins says.

He says phone numbers are listed on vehicles to contact people in an emergency but sometimes the person cannot be reached.

"There have been and there regularly are incidents involving tankers. They are horrendously expensive," he says, referring to the effect crashes can have on people and the environment due to the goods they are carrying.

"It is a significant issue. We think it deserves more attention."

Perkins expects those who complete the training course will form the core part of emergency response teams in Australia.

The program will be launched in Melbourne on October 20 during a one-day event addressing bulk tanker emergencies.

Representatives from AFAC, NBTA, response team ISS First Response and Caltex will be there.

Industry leaders Cootes and FBT Transwest will also be there to discuss case studies and ways to improve responses to tanker emergencies.

The gathering will be the first of its kind for the trucking industry and oil companies, product owners, transport operators and manufacturers are being urged to attend.

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