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Top 7 Hazmat Compliance Challenges and How ICCouncil Courses Can Help

by Busines Newswire
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Why does it seem like an impossible task? What makes hazmat regulations so complicated? Why do several carriers and transport companies transporting hazardous materials find it difficult to navigate through the numerous rules and regulations defined by the Department of Transportation? The answer to all these questions is “lack of awareness.” That’s correct. If you own a company that is actively involved in the transport of hazardous materials across state lines, you know exactly what you have to deal with practically every day.

There can be shipping delays, compliance issues, safety problems, incomplete protocol, lack of skills required to handle hazardous materials, and many other obstacles in your way. You can overcome them by educating and training your hazmat employees regularly with the most frequently updated course materials. In the following section, we are going to have a look at some of these challenges that are common to nearly all hazardous material transport companies in the country. Let’s begin:

1.   Not Being Aware Of Shipping Regulations

Hazardous materials are highly dangerous and can cause severe damage to human life, public property, and the environment at large. So it is not a good idea to let unsuspecting mail handlers or common people get close to these materials or handle them while in transit. There are certain serious and strict rules and regulations placed by the government. You need to understand what they are and follow them to the last detail. Several companies are not aware of these detailed hazardous materials shipping regulations which becomes a huge problem for their business.

2.   A Lack Of Understanding Of 49 CFR

If you want to ship your hazardous materials within the United States, it is essential for you to familiarize yourself with the 49 CFR volume and its various guidelines. This code governs the transport and shipping of hazardous materials to, from, and anywhere across the United States. The 49 Code of Federal Regulations is managed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. This is a subset of the US Department of Transportation. A lot of companies are not able to educate their employees regarding different material classes such as flammables, explosives, and corrosive agents. This is a major challenge that they have to overcome if they want to keep on functioning in this industry.

3.   Not Knowing What Shipping Compliance Is

This is also a very common challenge. There are numerous rules and regulations applicable to the shippers of hazardous materials across the country. It is practically impossible for them to cover every aspect of the 49 CFR and the UN Model Regulations. This is where your third-party administrator comes into the picture. They can take care of your hazmat compliance needs very easily. Also, if you want to educate and train your employees with regards to handling and managing hazardous materials, they can guide you to a highly useful and user-friendly training course that is not only relevant but frequently updated as well. These courses comprise:

  • General awareness training
  • Function-specific training
  • Safety training
  • Security awareness training
  • In-depth security training

4.   Not Having Enough Knowledge About The United National Model Regulations

The UN Model Regulations on the transport of hazardous materials apply to companies that ship these substances outside of the United States. There will be several differentiating factors between domestic regulations and international regulations. Anybody involved in the transport or shipping of hazardous materials must take the time to understand what these regulations are. Failure to do so is going to prevent the company from performing any transport or logistics-related operations in the foreign country.

5.   Forgetting To Invest In The Right Packaging And Labels

Every hazardous material that you transport is going to require a different set of packaging and labels. They will also need a different category of container or vessel to maintain the safety of everyone involved in their transport. You as the shipper will have to be aware of the hazard class and category of hazardous material that is being shipped to be able to select the most appropriate packaging for the same. You must also be aware of the mode of transportation being used such as air, road, or sea. In addition to the type of packaging and containers that you use, you will also have to arrange for the various placards, labels, markings, cushioning seals, and closures to prevent spills as well.

6.   Failing To Maintain Shipping Records

Let’s just say that you have sent the package to the carrier. Your responsibility has not finished yet. You will have to maintain the shipping papers throughout the journey of the hazardous material. It is advised to keep a copy of the same with you and one set of the same papers with the container that has been shipped. Also, these shipping records, especially in the case of hazardous goods, must be retained by you for at least 2 years after the package is accepted by the carrier. In case of any hazardous waste material, you will have to keep these papers with you for at least 3 years. The date of the shipment, hazard class, number of hazardous materials per package, and other critical details must be mentioned in these records.

7.   Not Knowing Who Needs Hazardous Materials Training

Many companies also fail to determine which employees, workers, and handlers within their organization need to go through hazardous materials training. For example, if your employees meet the hazmat employee criteria which have been specified in section 171.1 of 49 CFR, you need to train those employees immediately. Understand the importance of investing in the most suitable, relevant, frequently updated, and factually correct hazardous materials training program.

Final Thoughts

It is critical for your hazmat employees to undergo specific and highly relevant hazmat compliance and management courses with a platform like ICCouncil. There is no substitute for a well-rounded and full training course for your hazardous material employees. The sooner you understand its importance the better it is for your company.