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Australian Institute of Packaging meeting held in Melbourne

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The message that members and guests took away from the October meeting of the Australian Institute of Packaging [AIP] held in Melbourne was intrinsically linked to five which will be explained in this resume.

Conrad Tulloch, senior dangerous goods advisor WorkSafe Victoria the regulator for The Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail [ADG] discussed the recently released seventh version of the Code.

The new code is encompassing the United Nations publication UN15 so that WorkSafe can trade globally and accept that hazardous materials arriving at its borders will be packaged to allow direct access into its supply chains.

The correspondent was awarded a Fellowship of AIP for his involvement in drafting the first Railways of Australia code for the transport of dangerous goods, which was to become the document evolving into the first ADG code.

It seemed that version seven was at least five times more voluminous which is to be expected given the changed commerce and reliance on hazardous materials four decades on.

Conrad is employed by WorkSafe Victoria as the senior dangerous goods advisor, Hazard Management Division (Appointed as an inspector under the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004).

Conrad is a qualified chemical engineer and accountant from Monash University and was employed previously as an engineering manager for a chemical manufacturing company.

WorkSafe is a major supporter of sport in Victoria both at development and senior level which is an acknowledged way to deliver messages to the public.

Conrad explained that ADG exists to prevent damage to product, people and the environment and also has a major influence on unexpected costs to business.

The reduction of incidents relating to dangerous goods is noteworthy and in percentage terms of goods transported the frequency is low. This fact reverts back to business profitability and goodwill as clean up costs, interruptions to the owners and others businesses is also significantly reduced.

The reasoning here is that a major incident such as a chemical spill or fire can close freeways, ports, railways and major chunks of cities; but compliance with ADG assists in reducing the risk of a major incident..

Marking and placarding; Packaging performance testing and design approvals of tanks are a major part of ADG 7 and one of the seven changes that are being incorporated into the seventh edition that will run in conjunction with the current edition until the end of 2008 and supersede it on 1 January 2009.

There is ample evidence to prove that properly placarded transport vehicles have contributed to the speedy alleviation of hazards at crash sites.

Inner and outer packages that are marked and compliance with the code are also less likely to be involved in dangerous situations.

For packaging technologists the section of ADG 7 dealing with packaging will be more prescriptive in specifications and is not expected to limit packaging options.

Currently a package is for life but in the new code a 10 year use by date will be incorporated, with currently approved packages at 1 January 2009 likely to have that as a new commencement date.

Dangerous goods packaging and handling is highly specialised and all advice should be sought from WorkSafe [or equivalent] before making decisions.

One change to the code relates to Intermediate Bulk Containers [IBC] which now are drop tested for approval but henceforth will undergo vibration testing through an implementation process; which was a segue to the second presenter.

Jason King, sales manager Victoria SCHÜTZ DSL Australia came along to discuss the issues related to the dangerous goods legislation and the new changes and describe the IBC and other products in the SCHÜTZ range.

In explaining the benefits of the 1000 litre IBC Jason King said that in every way the use of an IBC is five times more efficient than using 200 litre drums.

This underpins the company policy of Responsible Care and can be seen to be true when considering that 5 drums would be needed to transport 1000 litres with all elements of the supply chain possibly repeated 5 times.

In warehousing five high stacking of the SCHÜTZ DSL is proven but drums on pallets stacked five high are somewhat risky.

Forty-four IBC units can be loaded into a 12.2 metre shipping container an improved payload over the 200 litre drums needed for the same volume.

SCHÜTZ DSL Australia offers a complete range of transport and storage containers to safely transport hazardous chemical liquids, as well as pharmaceuticals and food that are identical to the same container produced in a SCHÜTZ factory anywhere in the 26 countries where plants exist.

Ecobulk is the trade name of SCHÜTZ range of IBM containers, the modular packaging solution with good economic efficiency and providing for absolute safety.

SCHÜTZ IBC’s are UN approved for dangerous goods transport and are already compliant with the forthcoming ADG code.

The development of the IBC by SCHÜTZ was based around the idea of building a transport container with a filling capacity of five 200 litre drums using the space of four.

The SCHÜTZ Ecobulk is a light and space saving container system. Ecobulk is an appropriate name for the units as they are tied into the SCHÜTZ Ticket System that provides pick up and return of the empty container to the factory.

There the HDPE bottle is removed, cleaned and reground into recycle material whilst the steel frame and the pallet are refurbished to commence another cycle.

This is truly responsible care and customers can be assured that every IBC produced is to the company's exacting and never diverted from manufacturing standards.

Jason showed a short video clip that explained the manufacturing process and then in much detail fleshed out other attributes. Much more information is contained on the company web site.

After a question time the proceedings were brought to a close when Ian Fletcher FAIP the branch Treasurer and event coordinator thanked Conrad and Jason with a small gift and audience acclamation.

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