Compliance Reminder

Hazard Solutions: IATA Dangerous Goods Training Reminder / Important Changes in Hazardous Materials Shipping Regulations
by Art Mahoney, M.S., CHMM, REA

July 10, 2006

Greetings EH&S Clients and Colleagues:

Increased Inspections and Higher Penalties for Dangerous Goods Shippers

As a shipper of hazardous materials/dangerous goods*, are you meeting the legal requirements? You may have heard that as of February 17th of this year, the maximum civil penalty for a hazardous materials/dangerous goods* violation was increased from $32,000 to $50,000. In addition, the maximum criminal penalty of 5 years imprisonment was increased to 10 years for certain violations.

To ensure compliance with hazardous materials/dangerous goods* air shipping regulations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspects shippers and carriers of hazardous materials/dangerous goods*. FAA inspections can be initiated by an airline reporting a problem (e.g., improperly packaged or leaking item), targeted inspections (e.g., shippers of high hazard goods -infectious substances, radioactive materials, etc), reports from concerned persons or disgruntled employees, etc.

Do not delay compliance. Now is the time to act.

Training is the Most Common Violation

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors say that the most common violation of hazardous materials/dangerous goods* shippers is failure to train employees. Additional common violations include the improper classification, failure to follow packing instructions, and improper labeling of hazardous materials/dangerous goods*.

Who Must be Trained

Per 49 CFR and HM-223**, training must be provided to employees who affect hazardous materials/dangerous goods* transportation safety. This includes employees who:

  • determine a material's hazard class;
  • select a packaging;
  • fill and close a packaging;
  • mark and label a package;
  • prepare shipping papers and emergency response information;
  • select and affix placards;
  • are responsible for safety or transportation of hazardous materials/dangerous goods*;
  • operate a vehicle which transports hazardous materials/dangerous goods*.

How Often is Training Required

If you ship hazardous materials/dangerous goods* internationally or use an airline which is an IATA member (such as FedEx, UPS, United Airlines, American Airlines, etc) you are required to have initial training within 90 days of the job function and be retrained every 2 years. Additionally, employees must be retrained when there are changes in the regulations which impact them.

What is the Required Content of the Training

Training contents must include:

  • general familiarization training
  • function specific training
  • safety training
  • security awareness training

Testing and Certification

Employees must be tested and certified. But the testing can (and should) be customized to the functions of the employee.

Other Hazardous Materials Regulatory Changes

The following changes impact hazardous materials/waste transportation:

  • Modified Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifests go into effect on September 5, 2006. If you ship hazardous wastes, these changes will impact you.
  • HM-226a effects many of the 49 CFR requirements relating to infectious substances and medical waste. These changes become effective on October 1, 2006. Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifests are required to be used on September 5.

An Easy Way to Comply

Contact me and I would be happy to provide you a quotation for an IATA Dangerous Goods Training Program specific to the dangerous goods that you ship. Save money and time. You do not need to send your employees away to offsite training courses which may last three days! The program I offer can often be completed in a single 1-day session at your facility. In addition, the testing and certification can also be customized to the specific job functions.

What makes my program especially valuable is that it is specific to the dangerous goods that you ship and it is presented by me, an expert in the field.

Other related transportation training topics include:

  • 49 CFR for Shipper's by Air,
  • 49 CFR for Shipper's by Ground/Highway,
  • Hazardous Waste Management and Manifest Preparation

Other commonly requested training includes:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens (annual requirement)
  • Hazard Communication
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • General Safety
  • Biological Safety
  • Radiation Safety
  • Many others, please contact me

Trained by an Expert in the Field

My credentials include:
  • 15 years of experience assisting public and private companies to comply with hazardous material management, transportation and safety concerns
  • MS in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley
  • Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (Masters Level)
  • Registered Environmental Assessor

Please feel free to contact me about other services at 650.347.0417 or e-mail at

Kind Regards and Good Luck

Arthur Mahoney, MS, CHMM, REA

*Dangerous goods includes articles or substances which may be hazardous (in air transport). The definition of dangerous goods is found in the Dangerous Goods Regulations, published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) . Dangerous goods are synonymous to hazardous materials, which is the term used to describe hazardous substances in 49 CFR.

**HM-223 clarifies the many pre-transportation functions which necessitate training.

Disclaimer: The information presented above should not be construed in any way as legal advice or an interpretation of regulations. It is meant to provide basic information about topics that may affect clients and colleagues.

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