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Training categories
  • Five specific training categories must be included in hazmat employee training.
  • Training on DOT’s emergency response information is required.
  • In addition to the five training categories, modal-specific training requirements may be required by the individual modes of transportation.

Five specific training categories must be included in hazmat employee training.

1. General awareness/familiarization training

General awareness and familiarization training is intended to raise a hazmat employee’s awareness of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), and the purpose and meaning of hazard communication requirements. The result will be an increased ability to recognize and identify hazardous materials in the workplace. In the case of employees who recondition or test packagings, for example, such training would increase their awareness of the importance of the functions they perform.

2. Function-specific training

Function-specific training is intended to teach the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities for an individual’s job function. For example, a hazmat employee responsible for executing hazardous materials shipping papers will receive training on Subpart C of Part 172, including any shipping-paper requirements that apply for the transportation modes (truck, ship, airplane) that the shipper will use for the hazardous materials.

3. Safety training

Safety training is for hazmat employees who handle or transport packagings containing hazardous materials during the course of transportation (e.g. packers and warehouse workers), and persons who have the potential for exposure to hazardous materials as a result of a transportation accident (for example, motor vehicle drivers, or members of a train crew).

This training provides information concerning the hazards posed by materials in the workplace, under normal conditions, or in likely accident situations; it includes appropriate personal protection measures. Training on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) emergency response information is required. If applicable, it will also cover methods, procedures for avoiding accidents, and any remedial actions necessary after a release of hazardous materials.

This training is not intended to satisfy the training needs and requirements for hazmat employees whose primary responsibilities involve emergency response (see Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) 29 CFR 1910.120). Rather, it is intended to address those employees who may have limited responsibilities for emergency response, such as notifying others of the emergency, using fire extinguishers, or taking immediate action to mitigate the effects of an unintentional release of hazardous materials. Employees who repair, modify, recondition, or test packagings may be excepted from safety training.

4. Security awareness training

This training must provide an awareness of security risks associated with hazardous materials transportation and methods designed to enhance transportation security. This training must also include a component covering how to recognize and respond to possible threats.

5. In-depth security training

Each hazmat employee of a person/company that is required to have a security plan must be trained on the security plan and its implementation. This training must include company security objectives, specific security procedures, employee responsibilities, actions to be taken in the event of a security breach, and the organizational security structure.

In addition to the five training categories, modal-specific training requirements may be required by the individual modes of transportation (air, rail, highway, or vessel). For example, by highway, drivers must also be trained on the safe operation of the motor vehicle in which they operate, or intend to operate, and the applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.