Each day, more than 1.4 million shipments of dangerous goods are made throughout the United States. There are also more goods classified as hazardous than before and regulations that govern their shipment are becoming increasingly more complicated. To meet these regulations, companies need to constantly review their processes and structures. Below are three tips to improve procedures for compliance.

Centralizing Compliance Oversight

In many companies, the responsibility for ensuring that compliance processes are followed is often fragmented. For example, the IT, Safety and Shipping Departments might all be involved in meeting some of the requirements. This can lead to duplicated work or even serious fines for omissions or mistakes.

Having a defined compliance strategy as well as a designated compliance structure will help to streamline work. It will also help to make sure that the correct procedures are followed. This structure can consist of an individual, an individual within each department or an entire department that has the sole responsibility for ensuring that requirements for shipments are met.

Providing Training

The person or persons responsible for compliance then need to be provided with the necessary training. Regulations are complex and changing. They can only be met if those who have oversight are aware of current rules governing dangerous goods shipments. It is also a good idea to check that protocol manuals are recent and that the Competent Authority Approval for the classification of the hazardous goods in question is up-to-date.

Updating and Unifying Systems

In addition to training staff, operations may need to be updated. Many companies still rely on hard copy documentation or manual methods, for example. Switching to electronic forms will ensure that all relevant staff can access them easily. Using one application for all compliance-related data helps to eliminate duplication and errors.

Both time and money can be lost when a company does not follow the correct procedures for shipping their hazardous good. Moreover, a constantly shifting regulatory environment means that maintaining current compliance procedures is more difficult than ever before. By using the three tips above, companies can prevent non-compliance and avoid costly mistakes.