Transporting dangerous goods and hazardous material is a necessary part of the shipping industry, but for the protection of consumers, carriers, and the general public, there are strict regulations in Canada about how these goods are handled, as set forth in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.
Anyone who handles or provides transport of hazardous materials must complete the appropriate training, whether in person or through TDG online training and carry a valid, employer-issued Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Certification.
How Long is a TDG Training Certificate Valid?
A TDG training certificate has an expiration date, which differs according to the mode of transport of the hazardous materials. TDG certificate expiry varies depending on the method of transportation:
- 24 months after the issue date for aircraft transport
- 36 months from the issue date for transport by all other modes
Specialized Training For Employees is Required Before Handling Dangerous Goods
Part 6 of Canada's TDG Act states that all people who handle or transport dangerous goods must be trained in a specific manner or physically accompanied and directly supervised by someone with a valid TDG training certificate.
Employees transporting or handling hazardous materials must be adequately trained according to the TDG Act regulations in part 6 and be able to perform their duties per these regulations according to their job description.
Furthermore, all employees involved in transporting and handling dangerous goods must have their TDG certification in their possession.
When Does an Employee Need TDG Training?
Before an employee can handle, ship, or receive hazardous materials, they must complete a dangerous goods training program and receive a valid training certificate to confirm that they received adequate training. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act and Regulations contain a list of goods and materials designated as hazardous.
The only time that this training certificate is not required of an employee is if they are under the direct supervision of a TDG-certified employee or if they qualify for an exemption, also listed in the TDG Regulations.
What Kind of Information is Contained in the TDG Certificate?
The training certificate specifies which kind of training the holder received, such as:
- Preparation of shipping papers
- Transportation of hazardous goods
- Classification of dangerous materials
- Which type of dangerous goods is the holder certified to handle (flammable, Class 3, etc.)
The certification must contain all the relevant information required per Section 6.3 of the TDG Regulations. There is no set format; employers must ensure that the certifications they issue employees comply with TDG guidelines.
Responsibilities Employees Have For Their TDG Certificate
Any time an employee transports dangerous goods, they must have either an electronic copy or a hard copy of the TDG certificate. Self-employed dangerous goods handlers or shippers may issue their own training certificate and complete TDG online training, but it must contain all the information in Section 6.3 and be renewed accordingly every 24 or 36 months.
The purpose of the certificate is to demonstrate that the holder is adequately trained and in compliance with TDG regulations.
A TDG inspector can visit any location where the transportation of dangerous goods occurs and request to see the employee's TDG Certificate. Employees must produce a valid training certificate on request.
Furthermore, TDG inspectors can also ask for an employer's copies of TDG training records and certificates of employees. The employer (or self-employed individual) has 15 days to provide these items.
TDG training certificates, unlike other types of professional licenses and certifications, are not transferable from one company to another, nor can a self-employed individual transfer their certification to an employer. TDG certificates are issued to an employee by their current employer.
If you switch jobs or go from self-employed to working at a company, then you will need a valid training certificate from that employer.
Canada Safety Training offers comprehensive online safety training that helps Canadian businesses create safer working environments and comply with applicable regulations for their industry.
If your business deals with handling or transporting any type of dangerous goods, Canada Safety Training’s online training programs can facilitate your employee training requirements, whether WHMIS training, TDG training or any other type, through the affordable and accessible training material.