Hazardous materials, as the name suggests, are dangerous goods that are to be handled carefully. So, such substances should be handled only by qualified professionals. According to U.S. 49 CFR 172.704, all personnel must undergo mandated training to enable them to handle appropriately and transport hazardous goods.
Not just workers handling dangerous goods, even the managers who oversee the operations are required to have hazardous material certification. This certification is of five types -
General awareness training
Security awareness training
In-depth security awareness training
Depending on the role one performs in an agency, a particular specification is mandated. For a manager who is coordinating the operations, general awareness training is essential. Other certifications will only enhance his readiness to deal with any situation that may arise.
Benefits of Hazardous Materials Management
There are obvious benefits to proper hazardous materials management. That is the reason they are most overlooked. By properly managing the operations and processes, many accidents can be averted.
No shipping agency is insulated from accidents. But accidents around hazardous materials can cause a lot of damage to life, property, and also the environment. During hazardous material certification courses, the history of some of the world's worst hazardous material disasters is also covered. In many cases, it is a simple mistake - a moment of negligence or carelessness. Often, these errors pile on each other and cause a disaster. If there was a trained oversight coordinating the operations, many incidents could've been avoided.
Proper hazardous materials management will also help your shipping agency to comply with the government regulations. Timely reskilling of workers will ensure that you stay ahead of your competition.
Depending on the mode of transportation, there are different hazardous material courses. For shipping by highway, 49 CFR is the course. Similarly, if the dangerous goods are shipped by vessels on international waters, IMDG training is required. If the transport is by air carriers, IATA training familiarises you with the necessary protocols. There is also multi-modal training for shipments that require more than one mode of transportation.
Benefits of IMDG Training:
Shipping is one of the oldest and cheapest modes of transportation. It is also incidentally the mode by which more than 90 percent of world commerce is done. Maritime transport is the backbone of the global economy.
Tens of thousands of ships containing millions of cargo containers are on the sea at any given time. 10 to 12 percent of those containers are labeled hazardous goods.
Any incident related to dangerous goods on the sea will destabilize the aquatic life, and it does damage that takes years to rectify in many cases.
IMDG Training is necessary for anyone who is shipping dangerous goods on the sea so that accidents don't happen due to ignorance. IMDG code has a stringent set of guidelines that every freight carrier has to follow to handle and communicate the hazardous materials they have on board.
With IMDG training mandated, shipping accidents of hazardous materials has reduced drastically, proving that this training is indispensable for all shipping carriers.