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This online training course presents an overview of the rules and regulations associated with the safe air transport of lithium batteries. As a Class 9 HAZMAT, lithium battery shipment by air must meet strict safety standards to reduce the hazards associated with transporting batteries. Course topics include proper packing procedures, labeling processes, and ways to reduce the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries on airplanes.
What are the governing regulations? The most current IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (updated yearly) govern the standards for shipping lithium batteries. Airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers, and shippers all rely on the IATA DGR manual to ensure the safe transport of hazmat materials. This online certification course provides general awareness and function-specific lithium battery training to satisfy IATA DGR and DOT hazmat employee training requirements.
Who must take this training? Employees with responsibilities associated with managing an aircraft must receive general and function-specific safety training. This includes many types of employees involved in the transport and travel process, such as cargo acceptance staff, loaders, passenger handling staff, and cabin crew. Given the popularity of lithium batteries on flights, staff should also be trained in first aid procedures and what to do in the event of an emergency, such as a lithium battery fire.
Case Study: On July 28, 2011, there was a fire in the cargo hold of a B744 flying over Jeju, South Korea. The aircraft crashed into the Korean Strait and the two crew members on-board died. An investigation into the cause of the fire determined that cargo stored on the aircraft caught fire. A total of 2,092 kilograms of the cargo on-board was declared as dangerous goods, loaded near the left cargo door on the main deck. These goods consisted of flammable liquids, corrosive liquids, and lithium-ion batteries, totaling 198 cells rated at 25 ampere hour (Ah) at 3.65 volts (V). All dangerous cargo had been placed onto two pallets and had been loaded without problems, with no observation of damage or leakages. The goods had been previously stored according to regulations. It was impossible to say what caused the fire, other than cargo stored on the aircraft. The instructor exclusively in charge of dangerous goods training stated he had trained all pilots with an emphasis on cargo safety standards for lithium ion batteries and cargo fire procedures.
Key Takeaways: To reduce the risks associated with transporting dangerous goods, such as lithium batteries by aircraft, it is important to make sure crew members are adequately trained to follow the procedures associated with transporting dangerous goods and are familiar with fire safety practices. Dangerous goods should also be properly labelled for transport.
According to the IATA DGR section 126.96.36.199, recurrent training must occur within 24 months of the previous training to remain IATA certified in relevant topics. Retraining ensures knowledge is current to IATA DGR regulations and standards. Employers must verify that all personnel involved in the shipping process, including consignors and freight forwarders, are adhering to IATA lithium battery guidelines.