SafetyWatch: Transporting dangerous goods

May 22, 2018 -  By

Anyone who works with dangerous goods or hazardous materials should have transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) training, including employees in shipping, drivers, people who pack and unpack containers and managers who supervise them.

There are right and wrong ways to work with dangerous goods. In fact, there may be laws and regulations that cover TDG, depending on where you operate.

If you’re involved in TDG, you need to understand these regulations to keep you safe, keep the public safe and keep your company compliant. The consequences—physical and legal—can be catastrophic if you get it wrong.

In Canada, for example, everyone who handles dangerous goods needs to earn a TDG certificate. The certificate is proof that the employee has completed training and understands how to work safely with dangerous goods.

TDG certificates are valid for 36 months, but they are not transferrable.

If you start a new job, it’s smart to retrain with your new company anyway. Sometimes, a new job means working with different materials, vehicles or processes. Your employers are responsible for making sure you understand how things work in their specific industry.

Employers should know that inspectors can request proof of training for their staff. If they receive a request, they have 15 days to show proof that their employees have received appropriate training. Companies must keep copies of certificates on file for five years. Self-employed people can issue their own certificate if they have the appropriate training. They may carry the responsibilities of both an employer and employee.

Read the Spanish version of this article here. 

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