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Operator training


Vessel crews

Crews are trained to protect their own lives as well as to preserve the vessel in the event of a spill, fire and/or explosion. They are therefore trained to rapidly stop a leak and to correctly use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).


Response teams

In order to be operational, response teams must attend in-class and practical training sessions on HNS, but more importantly must regularly implement this knowledge through exercises simulating chemical spills. Exercises are the opportunity to validate the contingency plan, deploy response equipment and to ensure that it is in good working order, while testing the response organization.

Several States have already implemented such initiatives for operators belonging to the administration. Alongside these government initiatives, certain chemical industries, with very large sites, have private response teams that are trained internally.

In 2011, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) developed two training courses on preparing for and responding to marine incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances. This was an initial step towards a global training standard for responding to chemical spills.

Independent training organizations offering courses on HNS pollution remain scarce, as efforts are still focused on oil.

Training in Canada

In Canada, environmental response training courses can be provided by:

  • the Canadian Coast Guard:

The training program is designed to ensure that all Environmental Response (ER) personnel are well trained and able
to effectively respond to a marine pollution incident. The program consists of 5 courses; refresher training as well as
exercising are other key components of the overall training program.

  • Environment Canada:

The Emergencies Science and Technology Section provides training to Environment Canada’s Environmental Emergencies Officers and Enforcement Officers and other government departments in responding to spills of hazardous materials, sampling protocols, personal portable analytical equipment, and the use of personal protection equipment. These courses combine lectures, table-top exercises, and practical, hands-on exercises.


Last update: 07/12/2016