International law in the form of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code, Paragraph 188.8.131.52) requires ‘all shore-side staff engaged with the transport of dangerous goods intended to be transported by sea to receive training commensurate with their responsibilities’. Exactly which staff receive training and to what level is the responsibility of the employer. Equally it is the employers responsibility to make sure that untrained staff only work with dangerous goods when under the direct supervision of a trained person.
The Code also states that such training must be ‘periodically supplemented with refresher training to take account of changes in the regulations’. Although there is no laid down time scale for this training, the IMDG code is reissued every two years, so in order to remain current in the eyes of the ‘competent authority’ we would strongly advise that refresher training should take place at an interval no greater than two years.