1. HAZMAT or Hazardous Materials include a wide range of substances such as:
i. Dangerous goods that may be corrosive, flammable, explosive, spontaneously combustible,
toxic, oxidising, radiological, biological or water reactive.
ii. Hazardous substances with potential to harm health – may be gas, liquid or solid.
iii. Scheduled poisons
iv. Listed wastes
v. Environmental pollutants
2. Placards will generally indicate if HAZMAT is known to be present in the area – eg. the area are near a
swimming pool where chlorine is kept. Dangerous Goods Class Labels, Emergency Information Panels
and Emergency Procedure Guides may also be used to indicated if HAZMAT is kept in the area.
3. Some visual signs of a HAZMAT incident in progress may include:
i. A spreading vapour cloud
ii. People displaying symptoms of dizziness, fainting and vomiting
iii. Dead or dying animals – eg. fish or insects – in the vicinity
iv. A rainbow sheen on water surfaces
v. Containers deformed by the force of an accident
vi. Operation of pressure relief devices
vii. Pinging or popping of heat-exposed containers
viii. Smoking or self-igniting substances
ix. Unexpected deterioration of equipment
x. Frost near a leak
xi. Peeling or discolouration of a containter’s finish
xii. Spattering or boiling of unheated substances
xiii. Peculiar smells
If you can see, hear or smell any of these indicators, you are probably too close to the incident.
4. If you believe there is a HAZMAT situation, call 000 immediately and request attendance by the Fire
Brigade and Ambulance to treat exposed people.
5. Secure the scene by isolating the affected area until the Emergency Services attend.
Ensure that no one comes within at least 100 metres of the scene.
Avoid areas downwind of the scene even if vapour is not visible.
6. If the HAZMAT is outdoors, attempting evacuation may result in higher exposure than remaining indoors
until the danger passes.However, evacuation is the preferred option if there is an immediate threat of fire,
explosion, building collapse or if the building is not suitable for ‘in place’ protection.
7. If evacuating, follow the Campsite’s evacuation procedures.
Do not allow people to congregate at the incident perimeter.
Move people in an orderly way, by a specific planned route, to a location not easily compromised by a
change in wind direction or circumstances.
8. Avoid any exposure to the HAZMAT, including inhalation, absorption (skin contact), ingestion, injection
(from sharp objects or high pressure) and radiation.
9. Do NOT, under any circumstances, attempt to handle, move or control HAZMAT or containers with
potential HAZMAT contents as this may make the situation worse or cause unnecessary and potentially
10. Over-exposure may be indicated by changes in:
ii. changes in consciousness
iii. abdominal distress
iv. changes in activity level (eg fatigue, weakness)
v. visual disturbances
vi. skin changes
vii. changes in excretion
11. At the conclusion of the incident, do not allow anyone who may have been exposed to leave the scene
before consulting with the Emergency Services. It may be necessary to decontaminate or treat some or
all of the people involved.