A Western Australian transport company has recently been fined $31,000 after pleading guilty to 14 dangerous goods offences, which occurred between February and May of last year.

The charges were laid when the company had trucks pulled over on five separate occasions for dangerous goods inspections. Other companies have subsequently been urged to adhere to high safety standards when transporting any dangerous substances or materials.

The trucks pulled over were found to have incorrect placarding, inadequate safety equipment and no transport documentation.

“This enforcement should send a strong message to dangerous goods transport companies that, for the safety of all concerned, regulations must be followed at all times,” said Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Dangerous Goods Director Philip Hine.

One truck was found to be transporting chlorine gas without any dangerous goods paperwork, and no specialised equipment required to handle the gas. Any accident could have been disastrous.

“[The offence] obviously put not just the driver but other people in some danger should there be some particular incident with that load,” explained Magistrate Zempilas.

Trucks were pulled over in Wubin, Karratha, Bindoon and Northam, in Western Australia alone.

In 2013 alone, offences relating to the transport of dangerous goods attracted over $170,000 in fines. This year, the total has reached $40,000 so far.

It’s of paramount importance for trucking companies to ensure that any dangerous goods are transported with the utmost regard for security. The risk of leaking poisonous chemicals or corrosive substances is too big to ignore.

Over the course of this year, transport companies should take any and all action required to transport materials safely. Neglecting safety could mean substantial fines, beyond the means of many companies.

These companies should also ensure that insurance policies are in place to handle any damage to trucks, property or personnel.