There are a number of occupations in which workers need to be trained in how to recognize and respond to an incident that involves hazardous materials. Traditionally, those who work for organizations whose responsibilities include responding to spills or other threats to the environment that are caused by hazardous materials incidents need certain levels of training.
Business who use hazardous materials during their operation or generate them as byproducts need trained people on staff. This is not just to ensure these materials are handled properly, but to comply with regulatory requirements as well. These requirements include things like permitting, reporting and proper disposal of waste.
It is obvious that people whose job descriptions include dealing with hazardous materials in one way or another need training. Others may only come into contact with these substances during unusual circumstances. These folks need training also, although they may be overlooked when developing a training program. To ensure those who need training in your industry or business are not forgotten about, companies like AHLS can help develop a hazmat training program that includes everyone it should.
Police officers are among those who may not deal with hazardous materials on a daily basis but need to be trained nevertheless. They are likely to be among the first to arrive on the scene of a traffic accident. If the accident involves a truck or other vehicle that may be carrying some type of hazardous substance, they could be putting themselves and others in danger by approaching the scene without the proper training. Basic training for those responding to these incidents should include the ability to proper identify and interpret the information contained on any placards the vehicle contains. It should also include teaching the officers how to interpret the information on the shipping papers.
Medical responders need a certain level of training as well. While their main focus is on the individual who may be injured while they leave the hazardous materials clean up and response to others, they need to recognize when it is safe to approach the scene. Approaching a victim too rapidly without taking the proper precautions may only result in there being two victims instead of just one.
While the level and number of hours of training will vary by occupation, there are a number of easily forgotten jobs in which the individuals at least need awareness training. Many times, it is just as important to understand what not to do as it is to know what to do.