Compliance From the Top Down

Hazmat Compliance

While safety and compliance in the handling and transportation of dangerous goods or hazardous materials should be a top priority for every organization, the importance of, and emphasis on varies from organization to organization. Regardless of the reason, whether it be due to a lack of understanding about hazmat compliance or that it’s viewed as a financial burden, this seems to happen all too often.

Dangerous Goods and Hazmat Compliance Starts with Good Management

When it comes to following rules and regulations, some of the best organizations are ones where there is an emphasis on safety and compliance, which all begin with management. Managers who prioritize safety and compliance promote the importance of it down to the employees who are involved in the day to day dangerous goods operations. Employees will naturally adapt to their upper managers’ practices and philosophies.  

In contrast, in organizations where safety and compliance are not priorities, problems are likely to occur.  Many dangerous goods shippers and handlers have trouble getting the funding approved for compliance services such as training, software, and consulting. This lack of funding, in turn, leads to the staff not being adequately trained and lacking the necessary resources to perform their job functions related to dangerous goods shipments.

When management does not set high expectations related to a dangerous goods program, their hazmat employees may be susceptible to adopting the philosophy and misconception that safety and compliance are not priorities.  In the worst case scenario, neglecting safety and compliance can cause devastating accidents and put lives at risk while transporting dangerous goods.  

 Compliance Comes at a Cost

While hazmat compliance and safety can be seen as overhead expenses and unnecessary, it’s important to allocate funds to an annual budget for training, software, and consulting services as needed.  A prime example of a poor decision-making process is opting for a cheaper, shortened version of dangerous goods training programs to save time and money in the short term.

What many managers do not realize when making this decision is the long term consequences. Hazmat employees must receive adequate training for them to properly, efficiently, and safely perform their job functions.

That is why 49 CFR requires both initial and recurrent dangerous goods compliance training for anyone whose responsibilities involve working with dangerous goods. Of course, staying on top of all its regulations is not easy.  In previous blogs, we’ve highlighted the challenges of being a compliance manager and the tools for dangerous goods compliance. It can’t be overstated, just how vital following rules and regulations is. It’s critical that management understand and not only set an example, but make easy for employees to stay current on regulations.

Hazmat University provides online training programs that assist in the compliance of training requirements, including recurrent training also required by federal law and international regulations. Whether your position involves shipping by ground, shipping by air, shipping by vessel, or multimodal shipping, we have the course you need. Our programs are comprehensive and completely online, so you can learn and study at your own pace. Sign up today and start immediately.