Fumigating a silo? – Do you know how to transport aluminium phosphide safely?

Aluminium phosphide is a fumigant used to destroy pests in food storage areas. It is typically available as tablets, granules, dust or powder.

Dangers of aluminium phosphide

Aluminium phosphide has the potential to cause harm, even at low concentrations. Exposure to air or moisture generates phosphine gas, which is highly toxic.

Extreme care must be taken when handling and storing aluminium phosphide since even low exposure to this gas can adversely affect a person’s health and wellbeing. You can be severely or fatally poisoned from exposure to phosphine gas, especially within an enclosed space, such as the cabin of a vehicle.

Safety tips for transporting aluminium phosphide

Never transport aluminium phosphide in the same cabin space as people, animals or foodstuffs.

This fumigant should be transported on the back of a ute or truck or in a trailer, with the items well secured, and in an adequately ventilated container that is protected from the rain.

Filling elevated fuel tanks

Fill point connections must be installed and located either at ground level or from a compliant gantry and with minimal transfer hose length to ensure risks are minimised.

Pipework connecting an elevated tank to the fill point must be suitably engineered to prevent spills and leaks and have a sealed connection point, anti-syphoning system and a dry-break connection (or similar).

To eliminate associated risks you should have a readily accessible hose connection point with suitable spill containment at ground level.

Fill connection with manifold for filling multiple tanks

Tanks that are filled from a common fill point or have pipework for transfer in common must have an effective and reliable system in place that ensures no tank can exceed its safe fill level; and includes a completely separate system to prevent overfilling.

If a manually operated tank filling system is used then ensure individual tanks are filled sequentially by a suitably trained person using appropriate signage and procedures.



National Transport Commission Australian Dangerous Goods Code. www.ntc.gov.au

Article kindly supplied by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.