Transportation of dangerous goods training in Canada falls under Transport Canada, a department of the federal government, which regulates the transportation of dangerous goods by road, rail, water or air and sets out training criteria for companies transporting dangerous goods. Transport Canada does not accredit specific courses or training centers, but enables companies to use whatever methods are best suited to their operation and the needs of their employees.
Transport Canada’s definition of adequate training includes having sound knowledge of all topics related directly to the required tasks and specific kinds of dangerous goods a worker moves, offers to transport or handles during the course of their work. Topics that training may cover include dangerous goods safety marks requirements, safe handling and transportation practices for dangerous goods, and how to operate equipment used to handle or transport dangerous goods. Other important topics include reasonable emergency procedures to reduce or eliminate danger to public safety that results or could result from an accidental release of dangerous goods.
Transport Canada requires workers who handle, offer for transport or transport dangerous goods to be trained and possess a training certificate in handling or transporting dangerous goods or only perform tasks involving dangerous goods while under the direct supervision of an employee who does possess a training certificate in transporting dangerous goods. Handling encompasses loading and unloading, packing or unpacking and storing materials and covers jobs such as cargo handler, lift truck operator, dock worker, shipper/receiver, freight handler and warehouse operator. Examples of workers whose jobs include offering for transport include dispatchers, office workers who prepare documents, shippers, freight forwarders and billers.
Training in the handling and transportation of dangerous goods can be delivered through formal classroom training, on-the-job training or experience gained under the supervision of an adequately trained employee.
Employers who are reasonably satisfied that their employees are sufficiently trained to perform duties related to that training are required to issue those employees training certificates that include the name and address of the employer’s place of business, the employee’s name, the expiry date of the training certificate and the aspects of handling or transporting dangerous goods that the employee is trained for, including specific topics.
Those who employ a person who is a member of a ship’s crew may have a reasonable expectation that the employee’s certificate of competency, issued under Marine Certification Regulations, is acceptable evidence of adequate training. In this case, the employer does not have to issue a training certificate. Training certificates are valid for three years, except in the case of transport by aircraft, when they expire after two years. Training certificates or copies of them must be provided to inspectors immediately upon request.
Valid documents issued to a truck driver of a vehicle licensed in the United States or to a member of a train crew for the transportation of dangerous goods in the U.S. are considered valid evidence of dangerous goods transportation training in Canada. Documents certifying training in dangerous goods transportation issued to members of airport flight crews or ship crews from outside Canada are also accepted as proof of training, as long as the aircraft or ship is registered in a member country of the International Civil Aviation Organization or the International Maritime Organization.