Marine safety issues and actions

IMDG Code requirements oversight

Issue number: MO-2009-002-SI-04
Who it affects: All regulators, surveyors and inspectors
Issue owner: Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
Transport function: Marine: Shore-based operations
Background: Investigation Report 263-MO-2009-002
Issue release date: 27 January 2011
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by Orica Australia adequately addresses this safety issue.

Safety issue description

Before the incident, Orica Australia had advised the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) that their packaging method for the prills was fully compliant with the IMDG Code’s provisions. However, AMSA’s IMDG Code compliance audit regime had not detected that the method was not compliant.

Proactive Action

Action number: MO-2009-002-NSA-031
Action organisation: Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
Date: 27 January 2011
Action status: Closed

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has advised the ATSB that work has been undertaken with Orica and other ammonium nitrate shippers to ensure that the IMDG Code packaging requirements are understood.

To further assist with this education campaign, AMSA published an information sheet in June 2009 covering all the relevant issues of shipping ammonium nitrate. In the case of Orica, AMSA have specific approvals covering their loading of ammonium nitrate prills into containers to ensure that the end-wall strength requirements of the IMDG Code are complied with. AMSA have also conducted inspections of Orica’s loading arrangements to ensure that the approvals are complied with.

In accordance with chapter 3.1 of the IMDG Code (2008 edition), AMSA has, through Marine Orders Part 41, implemented the requirements for training of shore-based personnel involved in all aspects of IMDG Code compliance. This has involved AMSA formally accepting training providers and courses for certain levels of training, and it includes an additional audit function. AMSA has also published a dangerous, hazardous and harmful cargo handbook for use by industry.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority adequately addresses this safety issue.

Last update 06 March 2014