Hazardous Materials Regulations set by the US Department of Transportation require anyone who is using hazardous materials to be carefully trained. And for facilities that fail to train their staff correctly, they can be fined to around 75,000 dollars per day, per violation. The severity of fine makes evident the dangerous or even life threatening effects that incorrect handling of these hazardous materials may cause.
Companies that have to complete with the training are the ones in package, transport, label or classify materials, design, purchase, select or fill packages, research or analyze literature and loading or unloading hazardous materials. This list isn’t exhaustive but it is indicating the broad range of positions that demand familiarity with correct handling techniques.
Aside from that, anyone who supervises the use of materials has to be trained in case of accidents or emergencies. It’s best as well that everyone who is involved in the process is well informed and knowledgeable about it, including students who are taking part in any manner in these hazardous materials facilities. As a basic example, many students are opting to take part-time jobs or internships in fields that use hazardous substances such as of chemical engineering.
As for those who are employed to work at the said facilities, it is extremely important that any students on their premises are trained properly alongside regular employees in case of unexpected problems. As for the training, it isn’t meant to be overbearing actually instead, it is centered on preventing accidents or serious injuries to those who are handling hazardous materials.
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The truth is, there are many sections of hazardous materials training that depend on how close you’ll be working with the actual material. The employer is going to determine this level and the details of training according to the employee’s job description.
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Basic general awareness training – as what the name indicates, this is the most basic instruction that any employees have to be aware of. These include introduction to varieties of materials that are deemed to be hazardous and general overview of proper use of these HAZMAT.
Function specific – each and every job demands specific expertise and for that, hazardous materials training must mimic that expertise to fit the job requirements of the employee. For this reason, specific instruction is aimed to educate an employee on all details of their role which involves the utilization of hazardous elements.
Security awareness – employees and even interns should be trained in case that there’s an outside threat or terrorist attack. Being proactive and having a thorough understanding can be the difference between life and death in these types of situations.