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June 28, 2023

Hazmat Training Requirements Simplified: Facts for Trucking and CMV Operators

When it comes to transporting hazardous materials, the job is not to be taken lightly. The trucking company and the commercial motor vehicle operator have a crucial responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This includes protecting those who encounter these hazardous materials, chemicals, and substances. It is the duty of the transport sector, as well as the USDOT and FMCSA, to prioritize safety and take all necessary precautions.

To uphold this level of safety, the Department of Transportation has established strict rules and regulations that must be adhered to by all parties involved. These guidelines are in place to minimize risk and ensure the proper handling and management of hazardous materials.

One of these requirements is hazardous materials training. There is a rising need for proper education about hazardous materials and their shipment, handling, transportation, storage, management, and distribution. The Department of Transportation also issues various training regulations under the Pipeline And Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Title 49 Of The Code Of Federal Regulations.

You can connect with your third-party administrator to understand what you need to do to register your CMV operators, drivers, and safety-sensitive position holders in an online HAZMAT training course so that they can be educated and trained in the most relevant and critical modules without delay.

Now, fulfilling the requirements for HAZMAT transport permits is only the beginning. You need to understand what hazardous materials are and what responsibilities you must fulfill to ensure the safety of everyone working in your company. The following list talks about a few tasks that you will have to obtain knowledge on before you start shipping any hazardous materials:

  • Determining what hazardous materials are and whether the cargo you transport meets the definition of hazardous materials or not as defined by the authorities
  • Carrying out employee training when it comes to the transportation, management, and storage of hazardous materials
  • Understanding the importance of proper shipping names of all hazardous materials that you transport
  • Discussing at length classes and divisions of all hazardous materials with all your commercial motor vehicle license holders
  • Education about hazard warning labels, various packaging categories, and marking and labeling of all hazardous materials is also essential for your drivers
  • Being proactive and alert about your shipping papers, certificates, and blocking and bracing concerning the transportation of specific hazardous materials
  • Investing in a security plan and incident reporting protocol in case any of your employees or safety-sensitive position holders have an accident or mishap when transporting hazardous materials
  • Discussing emergency response information and protocol needs to be carried out with every employee involved in hazardous material transportation.

The Necessity Of Hazardous Materials Training Explained

When we talk about potential hazards or dangers, there is a certain degree of risk attached to the transport sector. Transporting hazardous materials is an inherent hazard that everyone has to deal with. But if you transport hazardous materials or dangerous chemicals across state lines, the risk you are exposed to increases by multiples. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation will take all violations in this situation very seriously. Because of the serious risks involved, it becomes even more vital for you to complete online HAZMAT employee training. This training will ensure that all of your front-line workers and drivers know the risk they are dealing with when transporting these hazardous materials. A typical course is going to include the following: 

  • Definition and explanations of all hazardous materials, categories, and classes of dangerous goods that your employees transport and handle everyday
  • Education and training on the most proper and appropriate packaging methods for hazardous materials that reduce liabilities of the business and mitigate chances of any damage
  • Training on how to properly shift all kinds of hazardous material categories and prevention of any leakage or spillage when performing storage and distribution processes
  • Understanding USDOT exceptions that apply to your company to reduce shipping costs significantly

Let’s Talk About The Advantages Of Online Training

 Several players in the transport industry have raised the question; Why go for an online HAZMAT training course? The answer? Because it is one of the most convenient ways to provide highly relevant and authentic education to commercial motor vehicle drivers and safety-sensitive position holders. The following is also true:

  • The ability to start, pause, or stop their training based on their availability 
  • Sessions can be fully interactive 
  • Reviewing information before taking the final examination
  • They usually get 90 days to complete their courses and obtain their certificate
  • Your employees can learn all they want to about hazardous material shipping and handling at their own pace 
  • It is an easy way to satisfy the hazardous material training requirement laid down by federal bodies

Updating Your Hazmat Training Regularly

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that you update your hazardous material training regularly. The ideal duration is every three years or if the USDOT decides to revise specific rules or issue a new requirement to the existing list of requirements.

Some companies prefer to update their HAZMAT transportation training every two years. They like to do this because any violations of any HAZMAT regulations can result in massive penalties which can exceed $70,000 in value. Also, if any of those violations result in a serious injury, illness, or perhaps the death of an employee or individual or substantial destruction of assets or public property, the civil penalty can go as high as $179,000!

Final Thoughts

Hazardous material training is necessary; in addition to fulfilling all the requirements for HAZMAT transportation permits, you need to make sure that all your employees, associates, and everyone involved in the transport and management of hazardous materials, whether directly or indirectly, is well informed about the risks they are exposed to and are aware of the hazardous material categories they are transporting. DOT Compliance Group can assist you with your HAZMAT compliance needs.

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