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Explosives Inspectorate | Alert | No.102 V | 31 December 2020

Unsafe transport of fireworks in a passenger vehicle

What happened?

Explosives Inspectors have observed a number of examples of non-compliant stowage of fireworks in passenger vehicles, in contravention with the requirements of the Australian Explosives Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail 3rd Edition (AEC). The fireworks stowed in the load space (boot) of the vehicle were observed to be unprotected, and at risk of impact and damage from other tools and equipment. Essentially the fireworks were stowed without due care.

How did it happen?

The authority holders were not complying with the specific requirements of the AEC and in particular, the requirements of the Explosives Regulation 2017.  Insufficient effort had been made by the authority holders to ensure the fireworks were stowed in a manner that would protect them from accidental damage from the other unrestrained items in the vehicle’s load space.

Key issues

  • The authority holders i.e. both the fireworks contractor and operator, have failed to comply with the transport requirements of the AEC.
  • The fireworks operator failed to give effect to the contractor’s safety management procedures for safe transport.
  • The fireworks contractor, supplying the fireworks to the operator, failed to meet their transport consignment responsibilities for the safe stowage of the fireworks during transport.
  • The fireworks contractor failed to ensure that the operator was complying with their legal responsibilities.


All authority holders (fireworks contractors and operators) involved in the transport of fireworks are required to ensure that they meet their duties and responsibilities as documented in the AEC for the transport of explosives by road.

This includes the following:

  • All vehicle load compartments used to transport fireworks are free or suitably segregated from equipment, articles or goods likely to cause damage to the fireworks.
  • If a vehicles load compartment is not suitable, a carry box or portable magazine shall be used.

Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.

We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.

References and further information

Authorised by Alex Mandl - Chief Inspector – Explosives

Contact: Chris Donovan, Principal Inspector of Explosives , 0409 580 435

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is a guide only and is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.
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