Why HAZMAT Training? Looking beyond the mandates.


More benefits than just to complete a requirement.

We all know whether you are a Will or Will-Not Carry Operation, you must complete HAZMAT training every 24 months. I’m also sure we’ve all asked the question “but why should I train so often?” or “why does every operation need to train, even those that don’t carry dangerous goods?” at least once. Keep reading to find out how HAZMAT training helps all operators, especially those that are not authorized to carry hazardous materials.

Will vs. Will-Not Carry.

First, let’s lay out the difference (beyond the obvious) between Will and Will-Not Carry operators and what that means for their training requirements. Will-Not Carry operators are only required to complete a HAZMAT Recognition Program which defines and helps employees identify different hazardous materials. Will Carry organizations have more in-depth training due to their status. Will Carry training involves packaging, marking/labeling, documenting, and how to store HAZMAT, on top of the identification guidelines.

Specific Benefits of Training.

HAZMAT Training provides an understanding of:

  • HAZMAT categories and examples of dangerous goods
  • Labeling and the recognition of HAZMAT labels
  • Acceptance/non-acceptance of dangerous goods
  • Identifying what can and cannot be stored in passenger baggage
  • Company Materials (COMAT) HAZMAT restrictions
  • The responsibility of the operator and ground handling staff, freight forwarding staff, shippers and packers, and security team in the safe carriage of hazardous materials

Hazardous materials training

What happens without training.

In December 2007, a cargo airplane carrying carbon dioxide cylinders aborted takeoff and taxied back to the airport ramp due to a “hissing” sound coming from the cargo compartment. Once the aircraft made it to the ramp, the captain quickly turned off the engines to exit the plane, but both crewmembers were rendered unconscious before they could open the door. A freight agent noticed the aircraft on the ramp and opened the door to find the crew incapacitated. He pulled the pilots out and ran for help. While the freight agent was away, the flight crew regained consciousness on the ramp and walked to the freight building.

An FAA inspector noted that the cargo compartment had two racks containing 5 bottles each, standing vertically on each side of the plane, but 5 (2 on the left, 3 on the right) of the cylinders did not have any safety caps installed. He found one of the cylinders had a valve partially open, causing the carbon dioxide to leak. He also found 9 loose cylinders lying in the cargo compartment, secured with chocks but not tied down. An FAA Hazardous Materials Division inspector noted that the carbon dioxide cylinders were considered hazardous material because they were pressurized in excess of 40 psi.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report claims the probable cause of the leak to be “improper hazardous materials procedures used by the shipper, and a failure of the operator to properly train the flight crew in hazardous materials procedures.” It pays off to properly train, and with CTS, you don’t have to pay up (a lot, anyway). Interested in learning more about what CTS can offer your HAZMAT training program? Browse our website for more information on our ICAO Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Materials Will or Will-Not Carry courses and how you can avoid incidents like this one.



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