Staying Alive in the Hazmat Industry: Tedious, But Worth It
Hazmat compliance can be somewhat onerous. Since the DOT began issuing hazmat guidelines in the 70’s there have been ever-changing rules when it comes to hazardous material transportation, and with good reason. There are numerous materials that are classified for transport, and unless you are already very familiar with the wide regulations out there, keeping up with hazmat compliance can be mind-boggling.
Luckily, because of this, there are DOT Training Courses that are offered to cover the wide spectrum of rules being enforced. Every year, millions of carrier dollars go to dealing with hazmat transportation compliance issues (the total was over $33 million in 2015) and so making sure that you are up to date and compliant is of the utmost importance to keep your hazmat transportation business safe from any violations. There are a number of ways that things can “go wrong”: everything from the type and amount of materials carried, whether or not vehicles are being loaded properly, or even whether or not there has been sufficient employee substance testing can cause serious compliance issues which can become massive problems down the road.
In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), the governmental body in charge of monitoring compliance issues, lists a “Top 20” for violations each year. From the various Top 20 lists it’s pretty obvious that there are a lot of ways your next compliance audit can go wrong.
Avoiding a Violation at all Costs
So is there a way to avoid violating a hazmat compliance code? Yes! Staying up to date with all the information and changes when it comes to making hazmat compliance each year is the direct first step you should take. Most information that is used is fairly standard; most of the changes will have to do with weight levels and carriage of certain materials. A consistent problem, however, is keeping employees trained: in fact, one violation which seems to make the Top 20 every year is that employees are not retrained on hazmat compliance every year. So you and a few others might understand the latest updates in hazmat compliance, but to fully comply when you look around your warehouse, you must know that every employee has been trained in the past year.
Something else that is quite interesting is how many of these Top 20 items are largely paperwork which exist specifically for safety and inspection purposes. From the perspective of actually transporting hazardous materials, it would appear to be minor. However, it can lead to dangerous confusion later, so the real question is: is it worth neglecting minor details which will add a minimum of hassle to your transport services? Isn’t it better safe than sorry, after all? We highly advise this method. Making sure to stay up to date on your hazmat reporting and compliance practice– and making sure that all your employees are also compliant– is probably the smartest way to make your already tough job easier. At the very least, it reduces your risk of being charged thousands of dollars per violation, but it is also an incredible way to keep your company name on a public list produced by the FMCSA.
Transportation dangerous goods and hazardous materials is definitely not a walk in the park. Transportation Compliance Associates, Inc. know this and that is why they put all their effort towards teaching your employees every piece of information they will need to know on the job site. Take all the worry out of hazmat transportation with Transportation Compliance Associates, Inc. Call 412-249-1111 and schedule your first training session today.