Operating a terminal is much more than using the loading and unloading equipment. Terminal operators are responsible for safety at the terminal, where hazardous materials are loaded or unloaded into or out of trucks, rail cars, or storage tanks. They are also responsible for compliance with all laws, regulations, and company policies governing activities in their terminals.
Ordinarily, dangerous goods incidents are caused by ignorance—a lack of awareness about recognizing dangerous goods or what to do when they are encountered during handling operations. Inquiries after accidents reveal that most people involved had not received any training on recognizing dangerous goods properly packaged for transportation. Even fewer have been trained to respond should they encounter them during normal day-to-day activities.
Terminal operators must be trained to understand what dangerous goods are, how they are classified, their hazards to themselves and their co-workers, and the necessary safety precautions. They should also know how to respond if a dangerous situation arises during terminal operations.
The five benefits of hazard awareness training for terminal operators include:
Reduces Injuries/Damage to Employees and Company Property
Injuries and damage to terminal operator equipment are reduced by recognizing whether or not a hazardous material has been encountered. Accidents can be costly, both in terms of money spent on repairs and loss of time having to fix the damage. Keeping dangerous goods offsite also reduces property losses if a fire were to break out at the site of an explosion causing significant injury or death.
Enhances Compliance with Workplace Requirements and Regulations
One role of terminal operators is meeting federal, state, and local laws regarding the storage of dangerous goods. Employees are responsible for understanding these regulations and abiding by them during operation. Hazard awareness training helps ensure that employees understand their role in keeping the site, workplace, and facility compliant with regulations.
Increases Productivity by Mitigating Delays Due to Accidents
When an employee injures themselves or damages equipment during a hazardous materials accident, there is a risk of delays for other employees who have to help out until the injured party can return to work. This lack of manpower causes a delay in dock activities that increase the time from when an order comes into the terminal until it leaves. Hazard awareness training reduces these accidents, increasing productivity since less time is lost waiting on repairs and workers returning to normal activity.
Provides Peace of Mind That All Bases Have Been Covered
Training teaches operators how to handle possible dangerous situations should they arise while at work. This knowledge brings peace of mind that all bases have been covered in the event of encountering hazardous materials.
Establishes Reputation as A Safe Business Partner That Clients Can Rely on For Fair Dealings
Getting training shows clients that your terminal is proactive in managing safety. This helps maintain a positive relationship with clients who may seek out terminals known for top-notch safety records.
Hazard awareness training is beneficial in so many ways to terminal operators. Identifying dangerous situations before they occur to boost morale makes employees feel their safety is being taken care of. There are so many benefits that it would be impossible not to find one that applies to your company.