Baseline Analysis of Work Health and Safety Data and Information for the Use of Synthetic Greenhouse Gases and Substitutes in the Australian Gas Industry Sector - Final Report

David Caple & Associates Pty Ltd, 2012
Baseline Analysis report cover

About this report

Under the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future Plan, an equivalent carbon price on synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) was introduced on 1 July 2012. Prior to and since the introduction of the equivalent carbon price, the department has been working with industry and work health and safety departments to raise awareness of potential risks in the SGG industry and regulatory requirements. As part of this work, the department engaged David Caple and Associates Pty. Ltd. to provide an independent baseline analysis of work health and safety data and information for SGGs and their substitutes (including hydrocarbons, ammonia and carbon dioxide), and equipment containing these gases within Australia from 2007 to 2011. No previous national study has been conducted and information on the matter is useful for industry and regulators.

Commonwealth, state and territory work health and safety regulators participated in this analysis and were asked to provide information and data on incidents, injuries, investigations and prosecutions involving the use of SGGs or substitute gases, as well as risks arising from the use of substitute gases. A variety of industry organisations (representing employer groups and trade unions), as well as retailers of SGGs and substitute gases and a sample of tradespeople from various industry sectors including refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosol, foam manufacturing, fire suppressant and electrical also participated.

The report provides a national overview of the work health and safety issues in the Australian SGG industry and provides an opportunity for industry and regulators to be well informed about safety issues in the industry. Ten recommendations were made in the report with a focus on raising awareness of potential safety issues when using substitute gases, improving training, education and communication of appropriate workplace procedures and regulatory obligations to manage work health and safety risks, and increasing control of the use of substitute gases including through a licensing scheme and specific codes of practice.

See also