Dec 212009

From 1 January 2010 Shore-based personnel with a direct influence on the safe carriage of dangerous goods by ships must be trained to do the job, says the International Maritime Organization, in what can only be a welcome decision.

A revised version of the international regulations for the carriage of dangerous goods by sea, the IMDG Code (version 34-08), takes effect. Regulations have been drawn up requiring shore-based personnel directly involved in the planning and preparation of dangerous goods carried by sea to complete safety training. The training requirement has been caused by a number of accidents where contributory causes have included insufficient declaration, packing, labelling, handling and other problems.

The training is to cover knowledge about the general regulations for the safe carriage of dangerous goods by sea and the specific safety regulations observed by each individual. The new regulations also contain a recommendation requesting all relevant persons to complete safety training in the risks related to dangerous products as well in the safe handling and behaviour in emergencies .

The training requirements are laid down in chapter 1.3 of the IMDG Code, from which
it is clear that they are aimed at personnel:

  • who offer dangerous goods carriages;
  • assist in declaring dangerous goods;
  • pack dangerous goods;
  • or in any other way handle dangerous goods, including prepare the cargo planning of the ship.

The chapter also contains recommendations for the training needs in various job functions.

It is the responsibility of the company that the relevant employees have completed the training programme. No requirements have been made as regards the duration of the training programme since it will depend on the operations of the company and the tasks carried out by the person in question.

The company can – if it has the necessary competencies – arrange the training programme itself. Alternatively, companies are recommended to contact adult vocational training institutions (so-called AMU institutions) offering transport training programmes or private suppliers of dangerous goods training programmes.

It is important to stress that many of the persons concerned are probably already required to meet similar training requirements in connection with the carriage of dangerous goods by road (ADR) and/or railway (RID), respectively. In this connection, they have perhaps acquired the necessary knowledge about the IMDG Code. Thus, it is stated in these regulations that “Where the carriage of dangerous goods involves a multimodal transport operation, the personnel shall be made aware of the requirements concerning other transport modes.”

In addition, it is recommended to supplement previous training programmes with the periodic refresher training programme required by ADR/RID, supplemented by relevant subjects from the IMDG Code.

The company and the employee must keep the information about the training sequence in order to be able to present this documentation to the survey authority upon request.

The new provisions are available in English from this link

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