Unpacking the risks of shipping containers

If you work with shipping containers—whether you’re loading, unpacking or supervising—there are a range of safety risks to be aware of.

Safe Work Australia has developed a series of information sheets that provide guidance on managing the health and safety risks when unpacking shipping containers, including exposure to hazardous chemicals like fumigants and solvents.

Director of Occupational Hygiene Dr Paul Taylor said that research commissioned by Safe Work Australia indicates that workers may be exposed to chemicals including fumigants and solvents when unpacking shipping containers.

“This raises concerns and businesses must take all practical measures to control the exposure of workers to hazardous chemicals,” said Dr Taylor.

“There are a wide range of health effects that can result from exposure to  these chemicals, including skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea, and respiratory disease.”

“Our information sheets will help employers and workers develop appropriate safe work practices to manage these risks.”

Safe Work Australia: Managing risks when unpacking shipping containers information sheets
SafeWork NSW: Video alert on unpacking shipping containers
WorkSafe Victoria: Unpacking shipping containers guidance note


Questions should be emailed to info@swa.gov.au.

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