Survey results: Hazmat training needs to be a higher priority

Earlier this month, we asked Dangerous Goods professionals to take a hazmat training survey. They responded to seven statements about how well their organizations and the rest of the DG community handle the vital task of educating their teams about hazardous materials.

The results were fascinating, and a little troubling. Labelmaster Global Learning Leader Rhonda Jessop said, “Many DG pros seem to think training needs to be improved even within their own organizations, as well as throughout the industry.”

Half of DG Employees are Not Properly Trained

Nearly half47%—of our respondents did not agree their employees were properly trained. That’s a lot of insufficiently trained DG employees.

That’s a shocking result, since many of our readers are hazmat trainers, many of them among the best in the business. If employees in their companies aren’t properly trained, it can only be due to a lack of organizational commitment or training resources that aren’t up to the job.

Survey responses supported both of those reasons.

Too Often, Management Doesn’t Get It

When asked to agree or disagree that their own senior management understood the importance of hazmat training, 51% did not agree. Asked whether their training budgets were able to address upcoming issues, 37% did not agree.

“These answers make it clear that management at too many organizations simply doesn’t get it,” said Jessop. “They don’t get that training is mandatory, and must be renewed every three years, for employees who handle hazmat. They don’t get that properly trained employees make better-informed, money-saving decisions about hazmat shipping.

“They don’t get that hazmat training saves lives.”

With this level of (non)commitment, it’s easy to see why trainers believe their teams are not sufficiently trained.

Programs and Tools are Lacking

Only 56% of respondents agreed their training programs—including tools, content, and curriculum—were effective.  That got us wondering: why would 44% of DG trainers and managers stick with programs they don’t believe are effective?

The answer may lie in the available resources. Nearly 1 in 3 DG pros believe there are no training products on the market that meet their organizations’ needs. Ouch.

Problems Extend Through the Supply Chain

While many DG pros were clearly unhappy with their own organizations’ commitment to DG training, they saw the problem as wide-ranging. Fewer than half the respondents agreed that the overall supply chain believes training is important, suggesting a lack of industry-wide accountability.

It must be frustrating to feel that you and your organization take training more seriously than others.

Looking for tools that make training more effective and less stressful? Check out Labelmaster’s complete line of training resources—including new online courses created by our own in-house experts.

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