Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd

On 12 July 2013, 157,205 litres of unleaded petrol was released from a storage tank into a purpose built bund at Caltex’s premises at the Banksmeadow Terminal during a planned transfer from the water draw valve of the tank. 

The petrol spill was stopped when a fire brigade officer waded through the petrol and turned off the valve to the tank.

Alleged breach

Section 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), as a person with health and safety obligations prescribed under Section 32 of the WHS Act.

Summary of undertaking

Activities Caltex will undertake include:

  • continue to progress various internal work health and safety initiatives relating to Caltex's 'Permit to Work System', emergency management training and hazard identification training;
  • fund the training of five fire fighters at Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) in relation to advanced petroleum fire-fighting in Texas, Houston, USA;
  • fund the provision of an online training program for FRNSW in relation to responding to fires and other emergency events at petrochemical facilities;
  • continue discussions in good faith with FRNSW with a view to agreeing to a principles of agreement in relation to the operation of a live fire training facility at the Caltex Kurnell Terminal by FRNSW;
  • invest in the development of a mobile application in relation to contractor management that will be available free of charge to all businesses across Australia in any industry; and
  • provide webinar training to Small to Medium Enterprises that manage the use of petrochemicals in relation to management of organisational change, drug and alcohol programs, process safety Key Performance Indicators and implementing Global Harmonisation System requirements.

This undertaking has a total expenditure of $805,500.

Reasons for accepting the undertaking

  • The alleged contravention does not appear to be a section 31 Reckless conduct category 1 offence, which if it was the case, would preclude the proposed undertaking from being accepted.
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and the actions taken by Caltex in response to the incident are assessed as being appropriate for consideration of an undertaking.
  • The strategies proposed in the undertaking have been assessed as likely to deliver long term sustainable safety improvements in the workplace, industry and community.
  • The undertaking addresses the requirements contained within the “Enforceable Undertakings – Guidelines for Proposing a WHS Undertaking”.

Date accepted

2 October 2015

Further information

View the Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd enforceable undertaking.