Mishandled Dangerous Goods have in the past and today continue to cause explosions and fires on vessels and in ports that result in the loss of lives, damage to cargo and property worth millions of dollars.
The explosions and fires that result on ships in mid-sea have their genesis far away from the scene of the accident itself. An explosion and fire onboard is invariably the consequence of a chain of events that started possibly somewhere in the stuffing bay of a factory or at the documentation desk of a freight forwarders office or in the back offices of a shipping company at the stage of planning the loading, stowing and segregation of containers. Seemingly minor errors that would go unnoticed in other industries can result in catastrophic events in the case of Dangerous Goods as described in the IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) Code.
Since its inception in 1965, and being made mandatory from 1st January 2004, the IMDG Code has been continuously updated and revised for technical and transportation requirements of specific substances in order to keep up with the rapid expansion in the number of new products developed and transported around the world today. Over time, the format of the Code, which extends to three large volumes, has been updated to be more user-friendly.
However, the Code and its contents, with its regulatory framework, do require training and study in order to be interpreted, understood and used correctly by all those involved at various stages of the Dangerous Goods Handling Chain.
As described in the Code itself, it applies to a wide range of interested parties: “The provisions of the Code should be of interest to maritime administrations, shipping companies, manufacturers, packers, shippers, feeder services such as road and rail and port authorities.”
37th Amendment enters into force from 1st January 2016 – Maritime Academy is ready to support
The latest revision of the IMDG Code – 2014, with the 37th amendment, comes into mandatory effect from 1st January 2016.
Thus all staff connected with classification, handling, packing, marking or labeling, stowing, documenting and carriage of Dangerous Goods, even security personnel involved, as required by Chapter 1.3 of the IMDG Code, would be well advised to attend DNV GL’s Maritime Academy newly revised course Handling and Transport of Dangerous Goods (IMDG Code).
This 2-day course corresponds to the requirement for “General Awareness and Familiarization Training” on the IMDG Code – 2014 with the 37th amendment. It would also inform those already familiar with the Code about the substantive changes affected by the 37th amendment and becoming mandatory next month.
There is always a cost to safety training but such cost is insignificant compared to the costs of an accident involving Dangerous Goods!