Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 172.704 lists the various types of training required for hazmat employees. These include function-specific training, general awareness training, and training in safety and security awareness. 49 CFR 172.704 also requires that employees retake their training at least once every three years. Individual organizations may require that employees undergo recurrent training for their regulations even sooner.
Many hazmat employees may know that retaking each type of training is mandatory in accordance with federal law and international regulations. However, they may not always understand what purpose this serves – and there is a purpose. Here are three reasons why recurrent hazmat training is required.
Regulations Change Over Time
Change can – and often does – come frequently and quickly to hazmat regulations. The US government revises 49 CFR every year. Likewise, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also amends its Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) annually. The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code receives its updates once every two years unless a change is thought to be critical and needs to go into effect sooner.
Some of these changes may be small, while others can be significant. However, it does not matter how major or minor these alterations may be. Anyone involved in the hazardous materials transportation process must know all of them. Recurrent training allows them to stay on top of everything that is new and different in this field.
Reminders Can Be Helpful
Some hazmat employers are vigilant in monitoring regulations updates, and they may not feel like enough has changed to warrant retaking their training. Even if both of these factors seem to be the case, every hazmat employee is still required to do so. This is in part because, in addition to teaching what is new, recurrent hazmat training reinforces what employees should already know.
Experienced workers may become used to their daily tasks and regular responsibilities. This may seem ideal, but when this happens, they may forget or misremember the information that they do not need to use every day. Knowing as much information as possible about the shipping and handling of hazardous materials is essential for hazmat employees to do the best job possible. People never know when they might need to recall something from their training, and recurrent training makes that easier.
Recurrent Training Is All About Safety
The real purpose for enshrining this in law is the same reason any regulations changes are made, and the same reason that training is available at all. That purpose is maintaining safety in the workplace which also includes while hazmat or dangerous goods are being transported. Shipping and handling hazardous materials require that everyone involved take meticulous care in following regulations to the letter. Failure to do so may result in an emergency that can threaten the lives and well-being of anyone in the vicinity of the incident, including both workers and civilians.
Requiring hazmat employees to undergo training more than once ensures they know how to prevent incidents. It also ensures that in the event of an incident, everyone in the workplace knows how to respond. Recurrent hazmat training is not meant to be an inconvenience. Like receiving that education in the first place, it is an asset for anyone who wants to keep themselves and everyone else safe.
Start Your Recurrent Hazmat Training Today
If you last underwent hazmat training more than a couple of years ago, you may be due for renewing your credentials. Hazmat University provides hazmat training for the major modes of transport, and that includes training for those who have already gone through it in the past. We have recurrent shipping by ground training, recurrent shipping by air training, and recurrent shipping by vessel training and recurrent multimodal training. Visit our online store and check out our dangerous goods initial and recurrent training programs today.