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Warning: fumigant can create toxic phosphine gas

Fumigation tablets containing aluminium phosphide are sometimes used in silos and grain shipping to manage pests. When the packaging is opened, the tablet can react with moisture and form the poisonous gas, phosphine.

There have been reports of people opening the packets with their teeth and leaving open packets exposed in vehicles without the knowledge of other vehicle drivers and passengers.

The new guidance explains what phosphine gas is and what its risks are for workers and workplaces. It highlights the relevant workplace standards, as well as compliance regulations and governing codes of practice.

Importantly, the advice on phosphine gas includes information on how to manage the risks for both workers and businesses.

The four steps to managing this risk include:

  • identify the risk
  • assess the risk
  • control the risk
  • review risk controls.

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