Posted November 2, 2020
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) mandates hazardous materials training for those directly working with hazardous materials. Hazardous materials training is essential to increase employee safety awareness and reduce incidents when working with hazardous materials.
Sometimes, questions arise as to who exactly needs training, what the training needs to include, and how often the training must be performed.
Who needs hazmat training?
Employees need training if they, during their employment, are directly involved in hazardous materials safety. “Hazmat employees” include those who are:
- Loading, unloading, or handling hazardous materials;
- Preparing hazardous materials for transportation, including labeling or marking packages or preparing shipping papers; or
- Operating a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials;
Hazmat employers are required to ensure hazmat employees are trained and tested and must certify the employees received the training.
What does the training need to include?
Hazmat training must include the following:
- General Awareness/Familiarization Training
- Function-Specific Training
- Safety Training
- Security Awareness Training
- In-Depth Security Training, in certain situations
In addition to the above training, each mode of transport (highway, rail, air, or water) has additional training requirements. For example, driver training is required for a hazmat employee who drives a vehicle transporting hazardous materials by highway. The driver must be trained on the safe operation of the motor vehicle and the applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
How often must I train?
Hazmat training is required every three years. Training may need to be performed sooner than the three-year mark if an employee's hazmat-related job functions change, or if the regulations change, which affects the employee’s job functions.
What else do I need to know?
Hazmat employers need to keep records of training for three years from the date of the last training, and for 90 days after the employee leaves.
Training is essential
One of the most important parts of compliance with the hazardous materials regulations is hazmat training. When employees know their job functions, are aware of their responsibilities, and follow the hazmat regulations, the transportation of hazmat is safer.