Historic contamination highlights the need for safe storage


Storage safety is about more than just protecting your workers, as a recent contamination case has demonstrated quite vividly.

Some residents of the Adelaide suburb of Clovely Park have been informed that they will have to leave their homes, following the discovery of highly toxic chemical residues in their neighbourhood.

Currently, 25 homes in the area are at risk from trichloroethene vapours emitted from soil. Although there is no immediate danger to residents, there is a serious risk of long-term health damage as a result of the contamination.

Trichloroethene, which is a known carcinogen, was historically used in the automotive industry as a solvent. It is through this use that the chemical entered the soil in Clovely Park.

The South Australian Environment Minister Ian Hunter highlighted that there would need to be further work on the area in order to identify the exact nature of the contamination and undertake an appropriate response.

“Residents are to be relocated by the end of year, with the plan developed in consultation with SA Health,” Mr Hunter said.

“The Environmental Protection Authority will remain in contact with residents in the wider area to ensure they are kept up to date on the work that’s being undertaken.”

This contamination case highlights the need for companies to handle chemicals effectively, not just for their own staff but also for the safety of the public as a whole. Incorrectly handled materials can easily jeopardise the health of local residents along with any future occupants of your current work site.

The solution is to invest in the right equipment to keep your materials safe. Investing in spill control technology and correct storage solutions for hazardous substances will ensure that your work does not pose a risk to the public’s health and well being.