Daniels Training Services

HazMat Employee Training for Drivers

HazMat Employee Training for Drivers

HazMat Employee Training for Drivers

49 CFR 172, Subpart H requires a HazMat Employer to train all of their HazMat Employees every three years on the following topics:

  • General Awareness/Familiarization
  • Function Specific Responsibilities
  • Safety/Emergency Response
  • Security General Awareness
  • In-Depth Security (if applicable)

49 CFR 171.8’s definition of a HazMat Employee includes, “Operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials.”  Thus, a driver of a motor vehicle transporting any quantity of a hazardous material in commerce over a public roadway is a Hazmat Employee and must receive full training triennially.  There is some confusion on this point as some motor carriers incorrectly believe that the HazMat Employee training requirements apply only if they transport an amount of HazMat that mandates placarding of the vehicle.  The transportation in commerce of any hazardous material, unless excluded by regulation, such as Materials of Trade and some Combustible Liquids, is subject to the HazMat Employee training requirements.

Road sign warningIn addition, 49 CFR 177.816 requires HazMat Employees who will operate a motor vehicle to be trained in the applicable requirements of 49 CFR parts 390 – 397 and safe operating procedures for that motor vehicle.  Training must include:

  • Use of vehicle controls and equipment, including operation of emergency equipment.
  • The basic and advance methods for safe operation of the vehicle in any situation or environment the driver may find themselves.
  • Procedures for maneuvering tunnels, bridges, and railroad crossings.
  • Vehicle attendance requirements and incident reporting.
  • Loading and unloading of materials, including –
    • Hazardous material compatibility and segregation requirements.
    • Handling of packages.
    • Securing packages on the vehicle.

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In addition to the above “General Awareness Driver Training”, specialized training is required for drivers of cargo tanks or vehicles with portable tanks of >1,000 gallons, they must also have a state-issued commercial driver’s license (CDL) required by 49 CFR 383.  Specialized training shall include the following:Class 9 placards on cargo tank truck

  • Operation of emergency control features of the vehicle.
  • Special vehicle handling characteristics.
  • Loading and unloading procedures.
  • Properties of the hazardous material being transported.
  • Retest and inspection requirements for cargo tanks.

49 CFR 177.816(c) provides relief from this additional training requirement for drivers of vehicles transporting HazMat.  The requirements for both the General Awareness Driver Training and the Specialized Driver Training may be satisfied by the maintenance of a CDL with a Tank Vehicle or HazMat endorsement.

Note the “may be…”, as the Hazmat Employer the determination if the training and testing received by your HazMat Employees is adequate is your responsibility.  In other words, you are the one who must decide if the maintenance of the CDL with applicable endorsements is enough to meet the training requirements of 49 CFR 177.816(a) & (b).  I suggest you document this determination and maintain with your training records.

49 CFR 177.816(d) requires that the Specialized Driver Training must conform to the frequency of training requirements (within 90 days of employment and triennially thereafter) and recordkeeping requirements of 49 CFR 172.704 which applies to all HazMat Employees.  Again, it is up to you as the HazMat Employer to ensure compliance with this requirement, document your decision.

Contact me with any questions you may have about the transportation of hazardous materials by air, highway, vessel, or rail

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Daniels Training Services




I provide HazMat Employee training for anyone involved in the transportation of hazardous materials – including hazardous waste – in a variety of formats.  Contact me for a free consultation so you can decide what training is required and what is best for you – and your drivers.