AIDGC Seminar 2022: 15th & 16th November 2022

Find out more about The Future of Hydrogen and Evolving Technologies.

Download the Perth Seminar PDF Here


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Please email if you have any questions or need alternative registration options.


Day 1


8:30am Registration
9:00 to 9:10 Welcome Address

Speaker – Dr. Frank Mendham: AIDGC President
Session 1
Keynote Address

Speaker – David Cavanagh: Managing Director,Integrated Energy and Chief Hydrogen Officer, Hydrogen West and Hydrogen East

Case Study: Hydrogen West and Hydrogen East: A national network of hydrogen refuelling stations for Australia, incorporating leading practice in safety and standards.

Session 2
Developments in Hydrogen Technology: Safety Implications and the Standards Landscape

Speaker – Rachelle Doyle :Manager Research and Development, Rio Tinto

Hydrogen technologies continue to evolve as does the potential use cases for our future energy systems. While hydrogen has been used in industrial settings for many years this changing landscape introduces safety challenges. This presentation will cover these challenges and the status of plans for hydrogen standards within Australia.

10:10am Morning Tea
Session 3
Staying on Track – Controlling Dangerous Goods on Rail

Speaker – Stephen Lane :Senior Inspector, MHF Branch, DMIRS
Speaker – Paul Garvey:Safety Partner, Aurizon & Chair WA Dangerous Goods Rail Transport Working Group

Dangerous goods transport on rail can be a safe and efficient method of moving large volumes of various dangerous goods at the same time. Paul and Stephen will take you through the key controls for dangerous goods transport on rail and the challenges it can bring. This presentation will cover key aspects such as segregation, documentation; emergency preparedness; collision prevention; and regulatory compliance.


Session 4
The Key to Applying Safety Distance in Hydrogen Storage and Handling

Speaker – Mounica Achuthan :Project Engineer – Energy, ACOR Consultants

Hydrogen fuel is a key enabling alternative to the many technologies required to achieve clean and secure energy for the future. The use and demand for green hydrogen are increasing, and the applications include industrial processes, power generation, and transportation. But, its use comes with a range of significant risks.

Hydrogen has a low boiling point with small molecules, which increases the risk of leaks over traditional fossil fuels. Hydrogen is also flammable and explosive, if ignited. The increasing use of gaseous hydrogen will expose more workers and the general public to fire or explosion of hydrogen. Current legislation and safety requirements are not specifically tailored around hydrogen fuel applications.

How do we ensure operator safety when transiting from traditional fuel storage and handling to hydrogen? Ensuring the safety of workers and the public around this fuel source is paramount. This paper will explore one of the key requirements – “safety distance” – so we can safely utilise, store and handle hydrogen.


12.00 to 1.00 Lunch
Session 5

Placarding under WHS

Speaker – Vince Pacecca :Chief Scientific Officer, Risk Management Technologies (RMT)

A decade on from Safe Work Australia’s release of the model WHS Regulations, uniform placarding remains an issue between the States and Territories. This was most recently highlighted in March 2022, with the release of Western Australia’s new Work Health and Safety Regulations. This discussion will review the placarding requirements between the States and Territories (including WA’s new WHS Regulations), evaluate challenges associated with placarding based on GHS Classifications and showcase examples of placarding signage.

Session 6

Danger from Above – Overlooked Learnings from the Victoria Big Battery (VBB) Fire and related Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

Speaker – Dr Frank Mendham: MEng PhD RPEQ – Mendham Consultants Pty Ltd

Through significant involvement in hazardous land use planning, from time-to-time issues of concern arise that require wider in involvement from our industry to meet the level of safety expected by the public. With the rapidly increasing development of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) associated with both Solar Power Stations and other network backup strategies, reliance on BESS manufacturers to provide fire safe systems for Australian conditions is paramount.

This presentation considers how BESS fire risk management is currently being provided by manufacturers and third-party fire protection providers, however it also highlights shortfalls, especially those that have become evident as a result of the ‘Victoria Big Battery Fire’. What do Australian risk engineers need to prepare to address these challenges?

Session 7

The Less Travelled Path to Hazardous Area Management

Speaker – Laurentiu Zamfirescu: Principal Engineer – Safety and Risk Engineering, AMOG Pty Ltd

The Australian standards for hazardous areas (AS 60079 series) cover most of the lifecycle stages and needs of the industry. The standards are however heavily prescriptive and do not readily allow for risk-based assessments and decisions to be made.
Electrical equipment in hazardous areas (EEHA) conformance is a “black and white” affair which does not take into account the realities of companies unable to stop production and replace all non-conforming equipment as soon as the inspection report has been issued.  Furthermore, in determining the hazardous area classification and the extent of the zones, the only apparent risk control measure recognised by the standard is the provision of ventilation. This is an effective risk control measure; however, it limits the available ways in which we can manage the associated fire and explosion risks.

This presentation provides case studies of technical risk management and assessment solutions applied to complex hazardous area management problems. These approaches supplement the standards and are aligned with WHS regulatory risk management requirements.

Session 8

Expert Panel and Discussion

Speaker – Alex Paton: Manager, Client & Industry Engagement, ACOR Consultants

Alex Paton has close to 30 years’ experience working across the infrastructure markets in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, and has held senior executive roles with professional services firms such as Jacobs, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) and now ACOR Consultants. In this session, Alex will lead an expert panel of speakers to discuss industry issues, and the actions required to address those challenges.

Session 9

Networking session in the hotel bar, including a dangerous goods quiz.

Day 2


8:30am Registration
Session 10

Enabling Hydrogen: The Role of Risk Assessment in the Energy Transition
Speaker – Derek Cross: Gexcon Australia Team LeadHydrogen is expected to play a significant role in the global energy transition with many projects proposed across the hydrogen value chain. But, with questions about the safety of hydrogen and its derivatives in new industrial applications, how can we demonstrate that hydrogen can be used safely?This presentation will discuss the benefits of risk assessment for developing hydrogen applications, outline important considerations for hydrogen safety risk assessments and inform you about the latest industry developments.
Session 11
Successfully Managing the Risk of Lithium-ion Battery Storage and Handling – Case Study

Speaker – Ben Law: Project Engineer – Energy, ACOR Consultants

Battery storage is fast becoming a critical component of Australia’s energy future. But, are there hidden dangers associated with its widespread adoption? In Western Australia, the McGowan Government has committed to install Battery Energy Storage Systems across regional areas of the state to support the state’s electricity system, and the uptake of more renewables in the community. Whilst this is an initiative that should be applauded, there are some safety risks that must be taken into consideration.

Lithium-Ion batteries are now quite common for power storage and are regularly used to store energy generated from renewables. However, fire chiefs are becoming increasingly concerned that people are blind to the dangers they present. Fire crews are attending an increasing number of fires where lithium-ion batteries have been deemed to be the cause of the blaze. Once a lithium-ion battery fire takes hold, they can be difficult to put out. They burn extremely hot and for a long time and can spontaneously reignite when not fully extinguished.

This paper will explore the challenges associated with battery storage, particularly in relation to their partnership with the renewable energy sector. It will discuss the critical need to understand the hazards and respect the risks. Importantly, the paper will present a case study demonstrating a risk assessment tool and process that was used to successfully locate a bulk lithium battery storage at a safe distance.

10:10am Morning Tea
Session 12
Process Risk Perception and Temporary Structures with Dirt Footprints

Speaker – Les Vogiatzakis :Principal Consultant, DGaS Services

Industries use dangerous goods. We spend time identifying critical and fatality risks, providing risk treatments, and verifying the layers of control so we can reach ALARP. And then things settle, and the known knowns get improved while a level of comfort settles in. Then the cycle changes. Turn-over of decision makers see a shift in priorities. Compliance starts to fade like the placards. Black swans start to grow from ugly ducklings… is it a tale of perception and not a flutter from a butterfly. Convenience becomes a new priority and part of the creep that nobody notices unless it’s duck hunting season.

Session 13
New Technology Qualification: Novel Energy Systems using Alternate Carbon-free Fuels

Speaker – Alastair Bruce :Integration Engineer, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI)

This presentation will discuss the basis and wider societal benefit for pursuing new technology; present systematic proven processes and tools for technology qualification and regulatory approval; and explore the wider integration with corporate governance systems. Alastair is passionate about technology development and motivated to develop robust and reliable end-user products to accelerate the transition to carbon-free fuels.

12.00 to 1.00 Lunch
Session 14

Storage of “Explosives” Fundamentals
Speaker – Leslie Williams :Manager – Statutory Liaison, Compliance and Security, OricaAmmonium nitrate (AN) and ammonium nitrate emulsion (ANE) are often mistaken for “explosives”. Due to this perception, the storage of class 1 explosives is often located near the AN/ANE storage on a mine site. Information on both class 1 explosives storage and AN/ANE storage, and optimising layouts will be presented for discussion.
Session 15

Code of Practice – Storage and Handling of Solid Ammonium Nitrate

Speaker – Richard Bilman: CEO, Australasian Explosives Industry Safety Group Incorporated (AEISG)

In Australia, AN is regulated at State/Territory level by one of eight distinct explosives regulators. Three apply quantity distances (QDs) using maximum AN quantity converted to “equivalent” TNT, with some relaxations compared to Class 1 Explosives, but with different conversion factors and relaxations between regulators. This regulatory inconsistency and over-conservatism was the impetus for the development of the AEISG Code of Practice – Storage and Handling of Solid Ammonium Nitrate (The Code).

AEISG has developed a risk-based approach to the siting of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) storages and shown that it can validly be applied to “classes” of AN store via look-up tables, rather than requiring a specific Quantitative Risk Assessment for every site.

2.20pm Afternoon Tea
Session 16

Dangerous Goods Regulatory Oversight of Hydrogen Systems

Speakers – Luke Van Baaren (Team Leader) and Daryl Colgan (Principal Inspector Critical Risk) – Dangerous Goods and Critical Risks Directorate, DMIRS

Hydrogen generation, processing, storage, and transfer have been occurring in modern industry since the development of the Haber process in the early 1900s. In recent years the use of hydrogen as a fuel has been postulated and industry is actively pursuing this more environmentally friendly fuel. The Dangerous Goods National Standards for hydrogen are being developed but this is an extended process.
To expedite the dangerous goods assessment process, DMIRS experts are developing guidance to describe how the regulator is viewing the hydrogen projects and what the expectations are. This is a presentation highlighting the key guiding principles.
Session 17

Final Questions, Discussions and Closing Address

Dr Frank Mendham, AIDGC President
Conference Closing


Novotel Perth Langley

Accommodation and Parking

The conference venue has accommodation available. Please book through their reservations team on (08) 9221 1200 or via Novotel Perth Langley

The Novotel offers limited car parking for an additional fee of AUD $25 for 24 hours. Car parking is strictly subject to availability on arrival. Alternative parking is located nearby, and Perth and Elizabeth Quay train stations are within walking distance.