Why Hazmat Professionals Need Advanced GA Certification

The transportation industry as we know it has changed a lot over the past few years. If you are into the transportation, moving, and handling of hazardous materials, you need to be even more careful. You will say that people interact with hazardous materials or dangerous goods practically every day but if this is your business, the level of diligence and carefulness that you will have to exercise is going to be much more as compared to a common man. 

There are raw materials, fertilizers, pesticides, chemical compounds, gases, various types of liquids, acidic solutions, and even alkaline compositions that can be categorized as dangerous. Needless to say, all of these are going to pose a different set of risks and dangers to the people handling them. The Department of Transportation already requires all your handlers, store managers, material movers, and personnel involved in loading and unloading these hazardous materials to be well-trained and certified in the protocols and safety measures required to work with and store these materials. This is because any kind of incident or accident can lead to serious injuries and even death and destruction of humans and property respectively.

1. General Awareness Training And Certification Are All-Encompassing

If you are in the business of transporting hazardous materials, you will find that it is mandatory for you to provide all your employees, managers, supervisors, and workers with the right general awareness training if not anything more. The activities that they are responsible for performing include:

  • Handling packages and arranging for their storage 
  • Storing hazardous materials 
  • Moving dangerous goods and loading and unloading them as required 
  • Making sure that the hazardous materials are contained properly in the containers 
  • Responding to emergency situations resulting from leaks 
  • Identifying signs of hazards that any dangerous good or item might pose 
  • Implementing evacuation routes for everybody’s safety

From the discussion above, it is quite clear that hazmat professionals are required to not just focus on general awareness certification but must remember to go beyond it if the need arises.

2. Focuses On Critical Components Of Hazmat Handling

This is going to prove to be highly critical because it will enable you to get a advanced GA certification. Your employees need to participate in a general awareness training program and must take steps to familiarize themselves with the 9 categories of hazardous materials that have been defined by the Department of Transportation. They will also need to focus on very important components of hazmat training that can be understood as the fundamentals of the course curriculum. These can be as follows:

  • Acquiring the ability to identify hazardous materials by their name, appearance, kind of packaging, weight, dimensions, and more 
  • A complete understanding of the hazard classification system 
  • The ability to use and explain to others how the hazardous materials table works
  • Understanding the numerous packaging requirements that are applicable to various hazardous materials that the company transports 
  • Details and criticalities related to various markings and labels that go directly onto the packaging of these materials 
  • Complete understanding of placarding formalities and related rules 
  • Drafting shipping papers for the containers that carry hazardous materials is also a very big responsibility 
  • Hazardous materials segregation and storage protocols 
  • Understanding the numerous HMR requirements 
  • Complete knowhow of requirements for incident reporting 
  • Security measures to be implemented for the safety of everybody working in the organization

All your Hazmat staff are trained to restrict access to specific materials. So that the chances of leakage and exposure can be minimized from the start.

3. Does Away With The Probability Of Criminal Penalties

This is another very strong reason that you should consider advanced hazmat GA certification training for your hazmat employees. There are civil penalties that you must already be aware of. But there are criminal penalties as well and they will depend on the severity of the violation that you have committed. There can be other consequences as well including millions in fines and also 5 years in prison.

For example, in the year 2018, a trucking company based in Montana was found to have violated numerous hazardous materials regulations. They did not have any safety protocols or any precautionary measures in place. This resulted in an explosion at the processing facility. The fine that they had to pay was $1.29 million and the owner was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

4. Keeps Your First Responders 100% Safe

It is your responsibility as a trucking company or an organization involved in the transportation of hazardous materials to ensure that all your first responders are well-educated, superbly trained, and always aware of any potential risks looming in the air due to unexpected leakages and exposures.

This is the only way to empower your first responders because they are literally the first persons to come in contact with such dangerous goods.

For Example, Lack of label comprehension may lead to confusion, as individuals might mistake one hazardous material category for another. This could lead to the implementation of wrong safety measures and handling protocols. These mistakes can lead to inhalation of dangerous gases, explosions, serious injuries, and even fatalities.

5. Prevents Your Reputation From Getting Ruined

You don’t want to ruin the reputation of your business. This is why it is important for you to encourage your hazmat professionals to consider getting advanced GA certification seriously. Even a single accident or an incident of carelessness can lead to a huge dent in your market standing. Your vendors will lose trust in your company and customers might consider hiring some other transport provider. Your reputation among your employees is also going to take a hit.

The only way to steer clear of all of these complications is to invest in a reliable hazmat general awareness training module for your employees. Train them as per the most relevant and strict industry standards and you will not only stay safe but also DOT compliant.

Sharing is caring!