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CSA BASICs – Hazmat Training

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Hazmat Training FAQs

If you operate a company that transports hazardous materials, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may be a site that you frequent. As you monitor your CSA scores and ensure you are fully compliant, you may have questions about DOT Hazardous Material (Hazmat) training regulation.

Who is a hazmat employee?

A hazmat employee is any person employed by a hazmat employer (including self-employed individuals) who performs duties that are regulated under the HMR. This includes any person, who while working:

  1. Loads, unloads, or handles hazardous materials; 
  2. Manufactures, tests, reconditions, or repairs hazardous materials packaging
  3. Reads or interprets hazmat regulation
  4. Selects hazmat packaging
  5. Marks or labels containers used in the transportation of hazardous materials 
  6. Secures closures on hazardous materials packaging or container
  7. Completes or signs shipping papers
  8. Prepares hazardous materials for transportation; 
  9. Is responsible for safety of transporting hazardous materials;
  10. Operates a motor vehicle carrying hazardous materials

Anyone who supervises these activities, is also considered a hazmat employee and must receive hazmat training. Customer services representatives or employees who only provide previously approved information are not considered hazmat employees. 

What is the fine for violating hazardous materials regulations?

Violations of any hazmat regulations, including training requirements carries serious consequences. As of May 2021, the minimum civil penalty for violations related to training regulations is $508. The maximum civil penalty for each hazmat violation is of up to $84,425 per day. However, if the violation results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property, the maximum civil penalty is $196,922. Criminal violations may result in fines, imprisonment up to 10 years, or both. 

Which hazmat employees require training?

Hazmat employees must receive training on all the areas of the Hazardous Materials Regulation that pertain to their job function. The areas of hazmat training include 

  • general awareness/familiarization;*
  • function-specific;
  • safety;
  • security awareness;
  • in-depth security training, if a security plan is required;
  • driver training (for each hazmat employee who will operate a motor vehicle)

At a minimum, all hazmat employees must complete general awareness/familiarization training according to 49 CFR PARTS 172.


What kind of training do hazmat employees need?

There are four types of hazmat training. The requirements vary based on the specific job function:

  • Function-specific training covers regulations pertaining to specific job functions.
  • Safety training discusses how the employee will be protected from hazards. The emergency response information in 49 CFR 172.600 must also be covered as part of safety training.
  • Security awareness training provides an awareness of risks associated with transporting hazardous materials. This training is required within 90 days of employment or assignment and  Methods for recognizing and responding to possible security threats must also be discussed.
  • In-depth security training teaches employees about company security objectives, specific security procedures, employee responsibilities, actions to take in the event of a security breach, and the organizational security structure.

Click here to download DOT Hazmat Training Requirements PDF

When do Hazmat employees have to complete training?

Within 90 days of hire or change of job function to include hazmat responsibilities, initial hazmat training must be completed. Every three years, hazmat employees must complete additional training. Training should be completed at least quarterly to ensure employees are trained on updated hazmat regulations.

Can a hazmat employee perform functions before completing hazmat training?

Before completing training, a new employee may perform hazmat job functions under the direct supervision of trained and knowledgeable hazmat employees.

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