New training standards proposed for transporting dangerous goods

Canadian regulators are looking to better define what it means to be “adequately trained” when transporting dangerous goods, under proposed rule changes published in Canada Gazette, Part 1.

While acknowledging that most businesses meet or exceed requirements under existing Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, Transport Canada says it has found that some certified employees still lack the knowledge and skills needed for the job.

transportation of dangerous goods
(Photo: istock)

There were 409 dangerous goods incidents leading to injuries and deaths between 2014 and 2019, with 55 of the incidents attributed to improper or insufficient training, says a preamble to the proposed rules. Of 300 training violations during that period, 23% were linked to people performing tasks for which they were not adequately trained.

The proposed rules refer to general awareness training and function-specific training, aligning with international codes.

Regulations Amending the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, Part 6 include a competency-based training assessment, and align training requirements with the United Nations Model Regulations for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Title 49 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, and the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions.

If finalized, training assessments would be documented in a new certificate of competency to replace today’s certificate of training, but continue to be valid for three years. Employers would no longer need to keep copies of the certificates, but need to retain related records for two years.

Task lists to be covered in the function-specific training would include classifying dangerous goods, determining shipping requirements, preparing a dangerous goods consignment, transporting dangerous goods, and responding to an incident.

Initial proposals for two hours of training in general awareness have been replaced with a proposed minimum of 25 test questions.

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