Transport Canada Proposes Amendments to Dangerous Goods Transport Regs

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(Photo: William C. Vantuono)

(Photo: William C. Vantuono)

Transport Canada has published proposed amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations to ensure employers understand the level of training required for compliance.

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) require “any person who handles, offers for transport or transports dangerous goods, to be ‘adequately trained’ in their dangerous goods tasks and receive a certificate of training,” according to Transport Canada. “While a majority of stakeholders meet or exceed the current training requirements, Transport Canada (TC) inspectors have identified that some employees lack the knowledge and skills required to conduct their dangerous goods tasks despite possessing a valid training certificate. Inconsistent or poor training of persons who handle, offer for transport or transport dangerous goods can result in improper handling and transporting of dangerous goods that could endanger public safety. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) monitoring program revealed that, of the 409 dangerous goods incidents resulting in injury or death reported between 2014 and 2019, approximately 55 were attributed to improper or insufficient training. Extensive consultations with industry indicated that there is confusion among some stakeholders regarding what ‘adequately trained’ means and what type of training their employees need. Internationally, codes that govern the transport of dangerous goods currently require that persons who handle, offer for transport or transport dangerous goods receive both general awareness training and function-specific training. Since the training requirements in the TDGR do not clearly state that general and function-specific trainings are required, the wording needs to be better aligned with international requirements and clarify TC’s expectations of the regulated community.”

Published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, Transport Canada’s proposed amendments will:

• “Introduce a competency-based approach to training and assessment.
• “Incorporate by reference the new training standard developed under the guidance of the Canadian General Standards Board, and align training requirements with a series of international codes.”

By implementing these changes, Transport Canada will promote “more consistent training and certification for employees who handle and transport dangerous goods across the country,” the agency reported on Dec. 13.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (Part 6 – Training) apply to about 39,000 businesses, with approximately 659,000 employees across the transportation sector. The road transportation sector accounts for approximately 70% of businesses that transport dangerous goods in Canada, while a combination of the rail, air and marine transportation sectors account for the remaining 30%, according to Transport Canada.

“The amendments being proposed today [Dec. 13] will play an important role in reducing the risk of incidents involving dangerous goods,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said. “Therefore, our government reiterates the importance of safety through effective training that will prevent unfortunate incidents and support the growth of the Canadian economy, including international partnerships, through regulatory alignment.”

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