I always cringe when someone asks me what I do for work. Not because I dislike my job (in fact, I’m one of the few people I know who truly enjoys their work) but because it’s so complicated to explain what I do! Sure, I could simply say I’m a Regulatory Specialist and let them stare at me blankly and try to figure out what that means, but they usually expect more of an explanation.
After going through the explanation for a new acquaintance yesterday, I got to thinking that many of our customers may not know exactly what ICC’s Regulatory Specialists do either. Some of my “regular” customers only deal with one aspect of my expertise, and are often surprised when they learn how many hats I really wear on a regular basis. After 8 years on the job, I have collected many responsibilities to keep me on my toes.
- Training – One of the main duties of the Regulatory Specialist (RS) at ICC is to deliver training classes to our customers. For me, this includes the US 49CFR Hazmat regulations, the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations and the IMDG Code. These classes can take place at our training centers, the customer’s facility, a hotel, or even via an online webinar. Not only do we conduct the training, but we also develop the presentations and quizzes that are used. We have to ensure that all of the information is accurate, up to date and gives the attendees enough information so that they can follow along and learn how to use the applicable regulations.
- MSDS – Lately, my main focus has been related to our MSDS services. We provide expertise on MSDS reviews, reformatting and authoring for many areas of the world. Currently, I am able to complete work for the US and Canada but will hopefully be able to add the European Union to my knowledge base soon. With the impending OSHA Hazcom standard update to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), I have been preparing myself for the changes that are going to take place. Writing an MSDS is no simple task, there is research involved, as well as interpretation of the information once it is found. There isn’t a simple “formula” that can be applied to spit out a finished MSDS. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain why a 6 page document can take several weeks to complete.
- Help Desk – We pride ourselves on our customer service at ICC. One of the things that sets us apart from the competition is our regulatory help desk. If our customers have questions related to the regulations and how they apply to their products, they can call and speak to a regulatory specialist to set them straight. I have reviewed shipping documents, assisted in packaging selection, clarified requirements, spoken to carriers and provided help in countless other ways. Many customers that I have built relationships through the years love having the “phone a friend” option to fall back on when they get stuck, confused or completely lost with the regulations.
- Internal Education – Just as our customers rely on our expertise, our coworkers come to us when they have questions. Whether it’s a customer relations associate who wants to know about a new label that we offer, our packaging specialist needing advice on a new design, or a business development manager who needs a unique solution for a customer, we get ideas and problems bounced off of us on a regular basis.
- Product Development and Review – As regulations change, so do the products that we offer. The regulatory specialists are involved in ensuring that all new products meet the applicable regulations. In addition, when an existing product has to be reprinted or remanufactured, we perform a review to make sure that there are no regulatory changes necessary. We also review our existing products as the regulations change.
All of these tasks keep me busy and make every day at the office different. I have learned a lot since my first days at ICC, and there is still more to add. Even this list is not complete; there are always those miscellaneous requests and tasks that come across my desk. All in a day’s work for this regulatory specialist!