STEAHMIT: South East Area Hazardous Maritime Instructor Training

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Darren J Cohen

Colleges / Centers

Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine


U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)

Start Date



. Statement of need. The vast water networks of oceans, seas, and rivers that comprise the maritime industry in the United States carry over 65% of the vast array of products transported in and around our country. Of those goods, over 817,000 shipments per day include hazardous materials, totaling over 2.1 billion tons annually. Most serious incidents with hazardous cargos involve bulk shipments,which are transported by vessels into U.S. ports. This puts maritime personnel at increased risk for injury or even death. Every region of the United States has supply lines to navigable waterways that are used to transport these goods, and many have coastal or inland ports that serve as shipping and/or passenger terminals. Accidents, natural disasters, exposure to hazardous waste, and terrorism are consistent threats. Hazardous materials incidents are generally infrequent but can be catastrophic, resulting in serious injury and death. The maritime arena is at particular risk of disasters and emergencies given the myriad of hazardous materials found in the maritime environment. A marine oil spill responder, for example, faces a plethora of health and safety hazards. They risk their lives daily. It is IDEP’s mission to continue developing, optimizing, and delivering quality, effective HAZMAT training for the health and safety of maritime workers, emergency responders, skilled support personnel, and the public. There is a need to ensure that hazmat trainers are training at an optimal level along with expanding the cadre of high-quality instructors throughout the country. Our training is grounded in health and safety to workers in the maritime industry, including law enforcement, maritime shipping and cruise industry workers, and port/dock workers who may encounter hazardous materials, with the overarching goals of decreasing injuries, occupational illnesses, unsafe practices, and incidents of environmental harm for those working in maritimespecific environments. In addition, the global COVID-19 pandemic has added more difficulty for acquiring and retaining qualified hazmat employees and instructors. This has greatly impacted rural, isolated, and underserved locations throughout the United States. There is a need to deliver competence training to initial and current employees of the hazardous materials workforce to reduce the knowledge and experience, and to reduce the overall risk for hazmat employees in the course of their work. Safe work practices will ensure a safer environment for hazardous material storage, packaging, and transport. This train-the-trainer immersion class will provide the employers with equitable trained staff to maintain an efficient and safe workforce for the years to come.

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