Managing risks of hazardous chemical exposure when unpacking shipping containers – Information sheet


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Use this information sheet if you, or the workers you manage, unpack shipping containers. 

Shipping containers can have hazardous chemical residues in the air and on surfaces.  

Airborne hazardous chemicals are a significant risk to workers’ health and safety. 

This information sheet includes information on common types of hazardous chemical residues. It also has information about controlling the risks including: 

  • preventing unauthorized access to containers 

  • seeking information from overseas suppliers or importers if containers have been fumigated 

  • checking for warning notices 

  • venting procedures for containers 

  • using personal protective equipment  

  • choosing air testing equipment.  

Publication Date:

Publication type:

Information sheet


Hazardous chemicals
Safety by industry and business
The work environment
Cargo handling
Hazardous chemicals