PHMSA Pre-empts California Meal Breaks for Hazmat Drivers

Posted on 9/24/2018 by Roger Marks

GoneForLunchshutterstock_211396165.jpgIn California, truck drivers are entitled to a 30-minute meal period after five hours of work and a second 30-minute meal break after ten hours of work.

But for truck drivers who haul hazardous materials through the state, those breaks may no longer apply. PHMSA has determined that Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) pre-empt California’s State laws in this area.

Because these breaks, “create an unnecessary delay in the transportation of hazardous materials,” according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), US DOT has the authority to pre-empt them under Title 49 of the US Code, Part 5125. 

In addition, a trucking industry group pointed out to PHMSA that for hazmat drivers, going off-duty for 30 minutes conflicts with the Federal requirement of 49 CFR 397.5(a) that certain hazardous materials shipment be attended at all times.

See the official pre-emption notice in the Federal Register.

California Hazmat Training—Last Chance This Year

Join Lion in San Francisco or San Diego in October to stay up to speed on new 49 CFR, IATA DGR, and IMDG Code rules for hazardous materials shippers. Come for complete multimodal hazmat training to explore the new 2019 editions of the IATA and IMDG regs (still available for pre-sale until October 15). 
Only ship by ground? Join us for the DOT Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification Workshop instead.

Title 22 Hazardous Waste Training for 2019

Cal-Cap-Bldg.jpgWhile we’re talking California—don’t forget that Lion’s trusted Title 22 hazardous waste training is coming soon too! Prepare for 2019 and be ready to meet your responsibilities under California’s unique, stringent hazardous waste regulations and the state Health and Safety Code.

Visit for more information on the workshops coming to Bakersfield on Oct. 1—2 and Oakland on Oct. 4—5.

Miss Lion’s September workshops in San Diego and Los Angeles? Check out these online options for new or experienced hazardous waste professionals:

California Hazardous Waste Management
California Hazardous Waste Management Refresher

Tags: California, hazardous materials, hazmat shipping, new rules, PHMSA

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