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Chemfreight Dangerous Goods Training Ltd

Following a horrific incident on the M6 in the early 1970's, in which a nurse was killed by a spillage of oleum (fuming sulfuric acid), ICI took the initiative of ensuring that all their drivers were properly trained to deal with incidents involving dangerous goods. ICI set up a course in Runcorn, which proved so popular that other companies transporting dangerous goods asked ICI to include their drivers in the training programme. Eventually, it transpired that ICI were training more drivers for other companies than for themselves, and decided to sell off the training section to private enterprise. In 1979, Chemfreight Training was formed.

The directors of the new company were Tom Wharton (foreman driver ICI) and James Mackay (distribution manger ICI).

In 1981 the Dangerous Goods in Tankers Regulations were introduced which, among other things, required road tanker drivers to attend an approved training course and successfully pass examinations for the award of a Hazfreight certificate. The Dangerous Goods in Packages etc. Regulations were introduced in 1986, requiring training for drivers who carried dangerous goods in drums etc, again requiring drivers to pass the relevant examinations for the award of a Hazpack certificate.

In 1992 the Carriage of Dangerous Goods (Driver Training) Regulations were published which made the training of all drivers of dangerous goods mandatory, in line with the European Directive. This training encompasses not only domestic journeys but also international journeys, which are subject to the requirements of the European Agreement concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). The Department for Transport (DfT) then contracted the City & Guilds of London Institute to write and mark the formal examinations, prior to the issue of a Vocational Training Certificate (VTC) by DVLA. All training providers were required to produce training notes and syllabi to meet the requirements of the City & Guilds Manual of Practice. Chemfreight Training holds the distinction of having approved training notes number 001. Over 90 training companies throughout Great Britain have purchased the approved training notes from Chemfreight.

In addition to driver training, Chemfreight offer training to companies and individuals who are involved in any way with dangerous goods transport by, road, rail, sea or air. We are authorised by the Civil Aviation Authority to carry out training, examination and certification. We have approvals with SQA, OCR, DfT, DVSA & JAUPT.

With the retirement of James Mackay in 2002 (sadly, James Mackay died April 2009), control of Chemfreight DGT Ltd passed to Mark Hunt. Chemfreight DGT continues to offer courses for Dangerous goods in all modes of transport and in all UN Classes. We offer quality training by Instructors who have a hands-on approach backed by experience gained over many years of working in transportation, military and chemical industries as drivers, instructors and managers. Our Staff are highly motivated and work hard to provide all of our clients with the very best service available in a relaxed and friendly environment. The training literature we provide is comprehensive, methodical in layout and easy to follow.

Harmonisation of GB legislation with ADR is ongoing. Although, over the past few years, domestic regulations have been aligned with ADR to lessen the impact; much work remains to be done by the Training Advisory Panel and Sub-Group. SQA have produced new syllabi and Manual of Practice. This process of change has been ongoing for the past two years, and Chemfreight DGT Ltd has been involved with this changeover of practice, working with SQA and DfT to achieve a workable and sustainable programme of training for all involved in the transport and other related activities of dangerous goods.

During the 1980's and 1990's, Chemfreight DGT trained large numbers of dangerous goods transport Instructors, particularly for the Royal Air Force.

Since then we have trained staff of the US Department of Defence to work under the European ADR Rules and IMDG Code in Iceland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sicily and the Far East, as well as Drivers of the US Navy at various Mediterranean Bases; recently, we have trained Staff for the Government of Malta and companies in France, Holland, Channel Islands, Falkland Islands, Ascension Island and Tunisia.