The goal of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters-National Labor College (IBT-NLC) Consortium Hazardous Materials Disaster Preparedness Training Program (HDPT) is to increase worker and community safety, and protect transportation infrastructure with respect to the shipment of hazardous materials from the nation's ports via trucks, rail cars and intermodal shipping containers. Background and Need for Transportation Worker Safety, Health and Security Training The federal government has placed on increased focus on the possibility of introducing WMDs or other hazardous materials into the U.S. through ship cargoes via shipping containers. The containers may be used by terrorists to smuggle nuclear, chemical or biological weapons into the U.S. """"""""In 2007, more than 11 million ocean-going cargo containers were offloaded at U.S. ports. Facilitating the free flow of goods while ensuring that the containers do not pose a threat to homeland security ? whether by carrying WMDs or other dangerous materials ? remains one of the many challenges facing the Department of Homeland Security."""""""" (GAO: Supply Chain Security, March, 2008) The U.S. Maritime system consists of 300 sea and river ports with more than 3,700 cargo and passenger terminals and more than 1,000 harbor channels spread along thousands of miles of coast. Twenty-five US ports account for 98% of all container shipments. More than 9 million marine containers enter the ports each year, and a large container ship can carry more than 3,000 containers. Intermodal shipping containers may contain large quantities of hazardous materials, explosives, poisons and radioactive materials. Trucks or rail cars transporting these shipping containers could be hijacked for use in preparing a WMD, or the shipping container itself may be wired as a weapon. The transportation of hazardous materials creates a risk of emergencies that threaten the lives of workers and the public. Hazardous materials transportation is a potential target for terrorist attacks, and can injure and kill the people directly involved, and damage essential transportation infrastructure and the ports. The Brookings Institute Reports...""""""""that a weapon of mass destruction shipped by container...could cause damage and disruption costing the economy as much as $1 trillion.""""""""(Protecting the American Homeland: A Preliminary Analysis, Brookings Institution Free Press) Accidentals hazardous materials transportation incidents injure and kill workers, and affect the surrounding communities. In 2008, 14,756 hazardous materials incidents were reported to DOT resulting in 145 serious injuries and 8 fatalities, with damages totaling $38,508,928 (DOT 2009). It is imperative that hazardous materials transportation workers who work at our nation's ports have adequate training. The training will provide them with the knowledge to identify and respond to security threats;identify and respond to an emergency release of hazardous materials;and protect themselves, co-workers and surrounding communities from contamination in the event of a hazardous materials situation.

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International Brotherhood of Teamsters
United States
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