Training a must in handling dangerous goods

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017

The handling and transportation of Dangerous Goods require immense care as it could compromise a handler’s safety and health when not handled properly and in accordance with IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).

Each transportable hazardous material carries an equal amount of side effects and damage potential. While all cargo handlers are confident in handling all hazardous materials, it is better to be trained well in preventing any hazardous content touching against the human skin.

Air Cargo Update met with Dangerous Goods expert BalajiThota, formerly the head of DGR trainings at Sharaf Academy in Dubai, and we discussed why a thorough training at regular intervals is required to effectively handle dangerous goods without accidents.

Items marked as Dangerous Goods include perfumes, lithium batteries for laptops, mobile, radioactive materials for oil and gas industries, etc.

Dangerous Goods certification

Dangerous Goods certification is one of the mandatory requirements in cargo, logistics and freight industry which comprises of air, sea, road and rail modes of transport. However Air mode is monitored by concern Civil Aviation Authorities.

Balaji notes, “Based on the job responsibilities the Dangerous goods training topics and duration defer. At the end of the course, student shall gain the knowledge about dangerous goods which will help to perform their jobs without compromising safety”.

Training provided

Compromise in Dangerous Goods training means high risk for aircraft and fellow passengers. The Dangerous Goods acceptance personnel always play a vital role.

His/her competency level and decision-making is one of the factors to decide whether the aircraft will reach destination safely or not. Thus, extensive training is been given in the classroom by a qualified, experienced and IATA and CAA approved instructors.

All nine classes of dangerous goods in details based on each participant’s job responsibilities are covered. The entire course content and training materials have been evaluated by the IATA and state authority of UAE (GCAA).
Trainings are provided on aviation, airline, cargo and dangerous goods.

Top priority

The primary purpose of these courses are to ensure proper safety is maintained throughout and during cargo movement and at the same time complying with the mandatory legal requirements as no part of the business is more important than safety.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) mandate that every person handling cargo must undergo training based on their job responsibilities.

“Dangerous Goods has its own industry for whom it is necessary to follow the regulations based on their products such as perfume, chemical and battery industries etc., in addition to that, it is mandatory for every chain of the supply chain to follow the regulations to ensure safety,” ICAO says.

Course & Career Prospects

All DG courses are certified by IATA and the popular courses taken under Dangerous goods courses are IATA DGR Category 6 for air cargo and freight forwarding industry and IMDG code for sea freight industry.

Since Dangerous Goods certification is a must for cargo, freight and logistics industry, the career opportunity is very bright if the candidate meets all other requirements of the employer.

Participants taking this course must be fluent in English and preferably a graduate. They also must have a minimum of one year air cargo experience to understand cargo and Dangerous Goods terminologies.

Students are assessed by course assignment during the course and final assessment is done by a written test paper which is approved by IATA and state authority (GCAA). Duration of the course is 40 hours and will be conducted in five consecutive days.

“Test paper provided is set by the head instructor of the training organization and will be wetted by both country civil aviation authority and IATA. Only approved test paper will be used to evaluate participates competency,” said Balaji.

There is no field training provided for Dangerous Goods. However, participants can contact the academy or instructor, whenever they need clarification, support during handling of physical Dangerous Goods shipments, according to Balaji.

Regulations mandate that the organization intended to deliver Dangerous Goods training must have qualified instructor & infrastructure. Instructor qualification such as IATA DGR CAT 6 certification, Professional Skills for Dangerous Goods Instructor course, a minimum of five years physical dangerous Goods handing experience, in addition to all these, the instructor and training organization must be approved by the country’s civil aviation authority.
Dangerous Goods Management

Balaji exclusively also shared with us the details of his new company before its official soft launch on the 27th of April.

Based in Netherlands since 1987, Dangerous Goods Management UAE (DGM – UAE) is an internationally recognised expert in Dangerous Goods and hazardous materials transportation solutions by Air, Sea, Road, and Rail operating from more than 30 offices in six continents with the services of Training, operations, consultation and auditing.
DGM develops comprehensive dangerous goods solutions to a large variety of customers of all sectors and industries (logistics, chemical, oil and gas, energy, freight forwarders, air, road, maritime transport companies).
It has been recognized by Governments and International Organizations such as International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), strategic partner IATA and by International Federation of Freight Forwarders (FIATA).
Networks supported by DGM – UAE include, Oil & Gas, Chemicals, Freight Forwarders, Hospital & Medical Sector, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare, Energy Automotive and Air, Sea and Road Transport.