Time to Assess your Dangerous Goods
Why does your business need Dangerous Goods training?
Most businesses that handle Dangerous goods recognise that keeping the supply chain safe is important and complying with the regulations is essential.
So why is it important?
The substances and articles classed as hazardous goods by United Nations 4 –digit reference number can be pure chemicals or manufactured products and mixtures of substances that can pose a risk if not handled correctly during transportation.
To ensure the shipping of Dangerous Goods is secure and efficient, staff involved in processing and handling materials need to receive training in a format that they can relate to their role and processes.
Training helps employees do their jobs better, which makes shipping safer, and employers should understand the value of reviewing their procedures to the changing needs of their business. Reviewing operational needs and evolving business processes ensures that you remain compliant with the regulatory requirements.
But how do you evaluate when your training & procedures need to change?
New set of regulations have been issued, this is the perfect time to evaluate whether the new regulations will impact the way that you communicate, pack, mark & labeled dangerous goods from your facility.
You can then resolve issues with transporting dangerous goods before it happens; this is much easier.
To get the outcomes your operation needs, having a process to review your training schedule is a must.
How do you know your training & processes needs updating?
There are three indicators that your processes and training program may need to be updated:
Penalties and frustrated shipments
No operation is perfect, and a single violation doesn’t mean automatically indicate a gap in your training programme. However, repeated occurrences of violations or frustrated shipments are a sign that there’s a break in the knowledge in your team.
Are you getting shipment delays? What are you getting penalties for? Where are those shipments heading? Is there a common reason?
Identifying areas where your training should be reviewed.
New products or a change of direction
Whenever you have new products, or a change in your business strategy, it is time to take a fresh look at your processes and training and how you are going to handle that new item of dangerous goods.
Have you moved to a new freight or courier company or started on a new shipping mode?
Road freight is less monitored than air, but CAA and the airlines are required to report deficiencies. It is mandatory that staff hold a CAA certificate before handling dangerous goods by Air. Have your staff been trained on the new mode and are aware of the different requirements?
There are continual changes in regulations and if you don’t pay attention and update your processes where necessary, it can be just a step to a problem and penalties.
In these challenging times, redundancies and rationalisations can have a knock-on effect to dangerous goods compliance and staff awareness.
Staff covering positions temporarily maybe unaware of regulations and their need for the Dangerous Goods knowledge.
If you have a team member who makes repeated mistakes in the paperwork and labelling perhaps, they didn’t pay attention to the training, but if there are regular errors perhaps it’s a wider issue for the whole team involved.
Establishing an evaluation system to follow up after employees have gone through training to monitor their understanding should be in practice, obtain feedback and identify deficiencies that you can then address.
Being compliant as a business in the handling of Dangerous Goods is a necessity.
Ensuring that your staff have the skills and knowledge necessary to do their jobs is the key to achieving it.