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TOPIC: Chemical-safety-hazmat-spill-prevention

Ask The Expert - Who Needs DOT HazMat

A new feature of our blog is our “Ask the Expert” column. Each column will feature a frequently asked safety question, and one of our safety experts will provide an answer. 

This week's question will be answered by Chris Fulmer a certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET) through NESHTA and The Board of Safety Professionals, and Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) with IHMM.  Mr. Fulmer has over 25 years of experience in hazardous materials emergency response, hazardous waste remediation, EHS consulting and Project Management. 

Question:

As an employer, which of my employees need Department of Transportation Training (DOT) in Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving and Transporting?


Answer:

Over the course of many years of training companies and employees on Department of Transportation Training (DOT) Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving and Transporting, one consistent question has always been asked; “who actually needs DOT Training?”

This question arises because it can be confusing, and the regulations can seem vague depending on what the employee’s job task may actually be. We all know that the person that signs the manifest should be trained and certified, and usually most know the forklift driver loading the truck should be as well. But who else?

The regulation basically says that any hazardous materials employee that directly affects the safe shipping, receiving, or transporting of hazardous materials and waste requires training. So that can include a vast array of employees.

To help clarify, below are some examples of who should be DOT certified:

  • The signer of a bill of lading or manifest shipping AND receiving the hazardous materials
  • Any employee that may fill out a manifest or bill of lading, even if they do not sign it
  • The forklift operator that loads or unloads a vehicle with hazardous materials or waste
  • Any employee that determines what hazardous material goes into or on a specific transport vehicle
  • Any operator of a transport vehicle that will go onto public transport
  • Any employee that puts DOT labels onto containers to be shipped
  • Any employee that packages hazardous materials for shipping. Be it drums, boxes, buckets, etc.
  • Any employee that may purchase containers for shipping hazardous materials, if they are the one deciding what container is required for safe shipping.
  • Any employee that inspects containers for use in hazardous materials shipping.

It basically comes down to any employee or individual that may directly interact with a hazardous material that is being offered for shipment on public transport (highway, air, rail and vessel). And DOT states that any HazMat employee must be trained and certified in:

  • General awareness and familiarization of the regulations
  • Function specific training – proper shipping, manifests, labels and placards, proper containers, etc.
  • Safety training - loading and unloading risks, emergency response, etc.
  • Security awareness
  • Any job specific training required

Once an employee is certified, then they must be re-certified every 3 years (at minimum) to ensure they are updated on any regulatory changes, current on specific company policies and regulations and are current on relative information.

The best way to determine which of your employees may be considered a hazmat employee per DOT and require certification, is to ask these questions:

  • Am I a shipper or receiver of hazardous materials by public transport?
  • Do I directly interact with hazardous materials being shipped, received or transported?
  • Do my actions with this hazardous material affect the safety of the public in transport?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you or that employee may need to be DOT Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving or Transporting certified.

If you still have questions or concerns as to if you or any of your employees should be certified, or what qualifies as a hazardous material being shipped or received, you can contact your Arbill Representative for further information.

Looking for additional training for your employees? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!

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Hazardous Materials: 3 Keys to Ensure Employee Safety


A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical or physical), which has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors. Examples of hazardous materials include chemicals, toxic agents, corrosives, combustible or flammable chemicals.

Hazardous materials can damage the skin, lungs and eyes and in extreme cases cause explosions and fires. It is important to ensure your employees understand the dangers of hazardous materials, know how they should be stored and wear the proper protective equipment when exposed to them.

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Chemical Safety: 4 Ways to Protect Employees


More than 32 million workers (more than 20% of the entire U.S. workforce) are exposed to hazardous chemical products in the workplace. According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), 650,000 different chemicals are present in more than 3 million American workplaces.

Hazardous chemicals were the cause of nearly 3 million nonfatal private industry injuries or illnesses in 2014 and the dangers of these chemicals present extreme challenges for both employers and employees.

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Protect Workers From Harmful Chemicals

According to Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), chemical hazards and toxic substances pose a wide range of health hazards to workers (including irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion, and reactivity). Read more from OSHA here: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/

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Protecting Workers From Hazardous Workplace Chemicals

More than 32 million workers (which includes more than 20% of the entire U.S. workforce) are exposed to hazardous chemical products in the workplace. According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), 650,000 different chemicals are present in more than 3 million American workplaces.  

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Reduce Exposure to Chemical Hazards

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported to renew its alliance with the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication to reduce and prevent worker exposure to chemicals hazards. OSHA also reported that the alliance intends to increase awareness of the requirements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers under the OSH Act.

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Hazardous Chemicals are Threatening our American Workers

Hazardous chemicals were the cause of nearly 3 million nonfatal private industry injuries or illnesses in 2012. According to former US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, "Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers today."

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Working with Harmful Chemicals

One of the most serious threats facing American workers today is exposure to hazardous
chemicals. Chemical hazards and toxic substances pose a wide range of health hazards (such as irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion, and reactivity).  

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Burning Questions about Chemical Safety

Imagine your employees are working with chemicals when something goes wrong. Maybe it’s a slip or a splash, but in an instant, chemicals splatter the eyes or the skin. And in that instant, the employee can sustain severe damage if the employee and his/her coworkers don’t act quickly.

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How do you handle spill control?

A "spill" is defined, for practical purposes, as any oil or petroleum products, chemical or waste that is released in any manner constitutes a spill. Spills also include leaks from underground and above ground tanks.

Non-incidental releases (large spills) are considered to be emergency situations while incidental releases (small spills) are those that can be handled safely by employees in the immediate area, without the aid of a coordinated response effort from employees outside the area, would not be considered an emergency incident under 29 CFR 1910.120.

Prevention is the best method of spill control and includes:

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