The Importance of FAA Inspections for Hazmat Transportation

FAA Inspections

Anyone who works for a company involved in the transportation of hazmat materials/dangerous goods may feel nervous at the mere thought of an inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They may believe that just the presence of an FAA Hazardous Materials Air Safety Inspector (HMASI) automatically equals a penalty. However, the main role of an HMASI is not to simply fine companies, but rather to work with them. Here is some information regarding the importance of FAA inspections, based on a page from the FAA’s SafeCargo website called “Why Am I Being Inspected?”

Why Does the FAA Conduct Inspections?

Recently, we have discussed certain programs from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that have the goal of providing informational resources for hazmat employees. With that said, the FAA does far more than educate and inform. They also enforce the many regulations regarding hazardous materials transport, and they verify if companies involved in this process are following the regulations properly.

That is why hazmat inspections are conducted. As intimidating as they may be, they occur only to make sure that hazmat employees are not violating regulations, whether on purpose or by accident. Inspectors do not search for examples of noncompliance out of a desire to fine a transport company or carrier. They search in the hopes that their concerns are ultimately unfounded and everything is well.

What are FAA Inspections Like?

The FAA’s “Why Am I Being Inspected?” page contains a subpage about the inspection process. This section of the SafeCargo website outlines the individual steps that may be taken, from document review to laboratory inspection to warehouse inspection. When they detect noncompliance, they do not immediately jump to civil penalties. This last resort is saved for major compromises of safety standards, intentional subversion, reckless or criminal behavior, and an unwillingness to collaborate.

This last point brings us to what inspectors actually do upon finding compliance issues: working with the company, not against them. As the page states, “The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety’s objective is to correctly identify and work with you to fix the root causes of noncompliance permanently.” Many mistakes are the result of simple errors rather than active malice. The Office of Hazardous Materials and the FAA understand that in these instances, educating employees on the proper procedures is a far more productive and far less costly solution than prosecution.

Decrease Risk by Undergoing Hazmat Training

The FAA’s SafeCargo page regarding inspections states, “The HMSP conducts inspections when we have identified a risk.” This means that if hazmat transport companies take more action to mitigate risk during the shipping process, they will need fewer inspections.

Perhaps the best method for this is to make certain that all new employees receive initial training, and that all experienced employees regularly receive recurrent training. Hazmat University provides both initial and recurrent shipping by air training. Our online programs are comprehensive, convenient, and compliant with the current regulations regarding training. Visit our online store and start your training immediately.

Start Your Training Now with Hazmat University’s 2019 Promotion

Hazmat University wants to make sure that employees involved in the shipping process get the training they need. That is why we are providing a special discount for the new year. Subscribe to our newsletter and you will receive 15% off the price of any of our online training programs. This is a gift to you from all of us at Hazmat University, Happy New Year!