Chemical Safety

Technical Requirements Under Licensing Controls

The Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA) and its Regulations provide provisions for technical requirements to be imposed and complied with to ensure the safe management and handling of hazardous substances and to prevent accidents from occurring. These technical requirements are briefly described below.

Storage requirements

The storage area should be sheltered, fenced-up, under lock and key, provided with kerb/hump all round the storage area, provided with fire protection and safety facilities, equipped with leak detection and warning devices and emergency scrubbing systems for storage of toxic gases.

The containers and storage tanks for the chemicals must be designed, manufactured and tested in accordance to an internationally-acceptable standard.

Hazardous substances licence and permit holders must keep records of stock movements of the hazardous substances in accordance to the formats specified by CCMD.

Adequate emergency action plan (see Annex 1) for dealing with any accidental release of chemicals must be drawn; with adequate stock of emergency equipment such as neutralising agent, adsorbents, oversized drums, protective gears, etc. are kept on standby.

The implementation of a safety audit procedure is strongly encouraged to systematically identify and rectify weaknesses in the management system and practices of handling hazardous chemicals on a regular basis. Attached are the elements that should be audited and a list of consultants who are able to conduct such audits. (see Annex 2 and 3)

Transport requirements

The containers and tankers used for bulk chemical transportation must be designed, manufactured and tested in accordance to an internationally-acceptable standard. The tankers must be certified by an approved third-party inspection body to have met the stipulated standards (see Annex 4) before it can be used for transportation on Singapore roads.

The containers, tankers and vehicles must be properly labelled and carry appropriate hazard warning panels.

All transportation of controlled hazardous substances must strictly adhere to NEA’s approved routes and must be between 9am and 5pm (Mondays to Saturdays, excluding Sundays and Public Holidays).

All drivers must be trained in the handling of accidental spills and have attended the HazMat Driver Course conducted by SCDF’s Civil Defence Academy or Singapore Port Institute (PSA Institute). Drivers renewing their Hazardous Material Transport Driver Permit (HTDP) are required to attend the HazMat Driver’s Course once every two years.

An adequate transportation emergency response plan (TERP) (see Annex 5) must also be put up to deal with any accidental release of the hazardous substances; with adequate stock of emergency equipment carried on the vehicles; such as chemical fire extinguisher, neutralising agent, adsorbents, oversized drums, protective gears, etc.

The consignor must prepare a set of instructions for the carrier or transport company containing the following:

  • Information on the hazards of hazardous substance and safety precautions for its safe handling,
  • Restrictions on the mode of transport and any necessary routing instructions,
  • Special operational requirements for loading, unloading and transport or a statement that none is needed,
  • Emergency response plan for transportation of the hazardous substances.

The carrier is required to obtain a set of the above instructions from the consignor and be conversant with the information it contained before proceeding to transport the consignment of the hazardous substance. The carrier must instruct and train his driver to ensure he understood the instructions given and can carry them out effectively. All documents pertaining to the chemicals transported (i.e. MSDS, transport approval and all emergency response, spill control and first-aid equipment) should be kept within ready reach during emergencies.

The consignor must ensure that the instructions given to the carrier are accurate and sufficient to enable the carrier to carry out the transportation safely. The consignor is also required to be present on-site to personally deal with any chemical release during transportation.

Tanks of road tankers and tank containers used for transporting hazardous substances must meet approved standards of design, construction and testing. The design of the tanks must be reviewed and its construction surveyed by an approved third-party inspection body. Once the third-party inspection body is satisfied that the tank or tank container meets the approved standards, it will issue an initial inspection certificate. Under the approved standards, the tank and tank container must undergo periodic inspections.

The following standards are acceptable:

  • European Agreement of Road Transport of Dangerous Goods (ADR Standards)
  • United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Standard)
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code)
  • United States Code of Federal Regulations (US-DOT Standards)

Labels are given for each class of hazardous substances and should be affixed on packagings and the vehicle. Road tankers and vehicles carrying hazardous substances in tank containers should have Emergency Information Panels. These are hazard warning panels containing the following emergency information:

  • The appropriate class label and subsidiary risk label, if any
  • The accurate technical name of the substance
  • The UN number of the substance
  • The Hazchem code number
  • Contact numbers and names of company and emergency response authorities