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TOPIC: Hazardous-materials

The 7 Most Popular Safety Training Courses and Why You Need Them


You’d like to make your business a safer place. A good way to start is to make sure that your employees have the necessary safety training. While there are many training courses available it can be a challenge to determine which one your business needs.

The following are some of the most popular courses that businesses have their employees complete and how these trainings can positively impact their business.

 1. DOT Hazardous Materials General Awareness

Required by the Department of Transportation, this training provides crucial education for any employee involved in the safe shipping, receiving or transporting of hazardous materials by highway transport. Training should include the identification of hazardous materials and how to meet the regulatory requirements for packaging, marking, labeling hazardous materials for domestic highway shipments.

The DOT hazmat rules are stringent and not having trained employees can be costly. Penalties for non-compliance are as high as $77,114 per day, per violation. For hazmat training violations, the minimum fine is $463 per day, per violation. Trainings should be refreshed ever three years.

2. EPA RCRA Hazardous Waste Management

According to the EPA, a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids gases, and sludges.

Because hazardous waste takes many forms, training is required for individuals responsible for ensuring compliance with hazardous waste regulations, and includes discussion related to proper container management, storage procedures, the use of the hazardous waste manifest and necessary emergency response. It’s also important to remember that different states have different standards, so the training that qualifies in one state won’t always be equivalent to the training for another.

3. OSHA 10 For General Industry

The OSHA 10-hour Outreach Training Program for General Industry is intended to provide entry-level workers information about their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to identify, abate, avoid and prevent job related hazards in the workplace. The training covers a variety of general industry safety and health hazards, which a worker may encounter in the workplace. This is a good introduction to safety and serves as a great way to develop a safety culture for your business.

 4. Fall Protection

 In almost every industry, slip-and-fall and falling from height injuries have been identified as one of the most common. This course is designed for any employee who may be working at heights or any staff that may ever be around some one working at heights. The subject matter of the training should include identifying hazards and risks, ladders, handrails, stairs and basic fall protection equipment.

Training employees and knowing how to use PPE isn’t just good for your employees, it’s good for your bottom line. As reported in 2013 by National Safety Council, “fall from the same level” ($7.94 billion) and “fall to lower level” ($5.35 billion) were the second and third highest injury causes of disabling workplace injuries in 2011.  

 5. First Aid

According to OSHA, First Aid refers to medical attention that is usually administered immediately after an injury occurs and at the location where it occurred. It often consists of a one-time, short-term treatment and requires little technology or training to administer. First aid can include cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches; treating a minor burn; applying bandages and dressings; the use of non-prescription medicine; draining blisters; removing debris from the eyes; massage; and drinking fluids to relieve heat stress.

The benefit of having employees with First Aid training is that they can respond quickly in the event of an accident or injury and help keep a minor problem from escalating into a major one. Also, if First Aid is successfully provided on-site, an employer doesn’t always have to report the accident or injury.

 6. Emergency Action Plan

 OSHA requires every employer to develop an Emergency Action Plans for credible threats to their employees. Threats can include fire, severe weather, earthquake, active shooter, chemical release and many others.

All employees must be trained in how to identify an emergency, their employer’s emergency action plan, warning sounds and identifications, evacuation routes, safe havens, assembly areas and after emergency requirements.

If you don’t have an emergency action plan in place, or aren’t providing the training to your employees, creating a plan and getting the requisite training is a must.

 7. Lock Out /Tag Out

 For employees who use, maintain or inspect energized equipment, lockout tagout procedures can guide an authorized employee through a sequential process that renders a piece of equipment or process safe.

Employees need to be trained to ensure that they know, understand, and follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures. The training must cover at least three areas: aspects of the employer’s energy control program; elements of the energy control procedure relevant to the employee’s duties or assignment; and the various requirements of the OSHA standards related to lockout/tagout.

 Compliance with the lockout/ tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.

Looking for one of these trainings 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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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. 


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


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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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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Protect Your Workers from DOT Hazards

We avoid the large tankers rolling down our highways displaying warnings of Hazardous Materials. We see metal drums in warehouses and gated facilities with bold signs alerting us to harmful chemicals. We hear on the news about train derailments and chemical spills that impact the area... and sometimes lead to large scale evacuations.

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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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Workplace Safety: Top 10 Cited OSHA Violations of 2011

Happy Friday! We trust that you got through the work week safely.  We talked this week about how to identify health & safety hazards in your workplace and want to end the week by identifying for you the Top 10 Cited OSHA Violations of 2011. 

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Workplace Safety: Identifying Health & Safety Hazards

Another work week is upon us and Arbill wants to help make sure that you continue to keep your employees and visitors safe.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,063,400 recordable non-fatal injuries and illnesses in Private sector industry in the USA in 2010.  In addition to their social costs, workplace injuries and illnesses have a major impact on an employer's bottom line. According to The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), it has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers' compensation costs alone.

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Hazardous Materials: Take Every Precaution

It’s important to take every precaution possible when removing hazardous waste, whether it’s a common pool cleaner or a more toxic substance. Here are six crucial things to consider:
  1. Gloves -- Depending on what substance you’re dealing with, you run a skin irritant risk anywhere from simple rashes to chemical burns to full toxification. Protecting your skin is crucial, so wear new rubber gloves every time you handle hazardous waste!
  2. Mask -- Inhaling dangerous chemicals and materials can be deadly, so protect your lungs and inner body with a good mask or respirator.
  3. Goggles -- Hazardous liquids and gases have potential to cause irritation or even blindness. A pair of heavy-duty goggles protects you from this risk.
  4. Airtight Container -- You do not want any leakage of hazardous waste to contaminate the people and places you come in contact with while traveling to dispose of the material. Always store hazardous waste in an airtight container.
  5. Assess -- Each type of hazardous waste has unique safety methods for handling and removal. Always assess before you dispose.
  6. Seek Professional Advice -- Contact the EPA and DEP for advice on proper places to dispose of each hazardous waste.

When it comes to hazardous materials, you cannot afford to take any shortcuts. Be proactive, think outside the box and follow all necessary precautions.

We hope you found this week’s hazardous materials series a helpful resource for ensuring that your employees return home from work safely every day. Tune in to the Arbill Blog next week to learn how to keep your employees healthy! In the meantime, be sure to check out our website for more information on workplace safety guidelines, solutions and programs or contact us to learn more about Arbill.
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Hazardous Materials: Think Outside the Box

Many employers get stuck in the conventional thinking that if they simply abide by regulations, they’ll be safe. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true.

Of course, safety regulations for storing materials -- such as OSHA's 29 CFR 1910 Subpart H and consensus standards like National Fire Protection Association Code 30 for flammable and combustible liquids -- should always be followed. But blindly following regulations creates a false and dangerous sense of security.

Think outside the box. In addition to following regulations, assess the risk of hazardous materials by asking these four questions:

  1. WHAT material is being stored? Understand the physical and chemical properties of a hazardous material. Know what substances and conditions with which it is incompatible, like flammable liquids and oxidizing agents.
  2. WHY is the material being stored? Any risk assessment should include ways to eliminate or reduce the risk. For example, a just-in-time inventory approach -- receiving goods only as they are needed in the production process -- lowers the quantity of hazardous materials on-site.
  3. WHERE is the material being stored? Ensure that "storage" is clearly defined as a permanent, temporary or transient location. This includes any area a container is kept when the storage area is full, which is often the most dangerous and vulnerable location because it is not expected. Also, be aware of processes that take place in areas adjacent to or near the storage location, which may affect the integrity of safely stored materials. For example, an ignition source is created when a heater is installed near flammable liquids.
  4. HOW is the material being handled and stored? Assess how the material is being moved and handled, and how this can be improved for safety. For example, it may be safer to move a pallet with one large container than a pallet with four smaller drums. Also assess how it is being stored and the environmental conditions it requires for maximum safety. This requires reviewing local, state and federal regulations in addition to a manufacturer’s specifications. For example, according to OSHA 1910.106(d)(3)(i), no more than 60 gallons of Class 1 or Class 2 liquids, nor more than 120 gallons of Class 3 liquids, may be kept in a storage cabinet.

Regularly asking these four questions makes you a proactive proponent of hazardous material safety and significantly reduces risk of accident, injury and death.

Stay tuned for our next post, which will focus on best practices for removing hazardous wastes.

Check back soon for information on removing hazardous wastes, or subscribe to the Arbill Blog. In the meantime, be sure to check out our website for more information on workplace safety guidelines, solutions and programs or contact us to learn more about Arbill.
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