Hazmat Ground Shipper Training

The US DOT requires training for ALL hazmat employees, including hazmat employers with direct supervision. Initial training must occur within 90 days of hire. Retraining is mandatory every 3 years and when rules or the employee's job responsibilities change. 

DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations provide detailed training requirements to reduce hazmat incidents. Violations of the HMR, including training, are subject to a maximum civil penalty up to $78,376 for a knowing violation and $182,827 for a violation that results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property.

Hazmat training is one of the few HMR requirements for which DOT sets a minimum penalty for noncompliance, up to $471 per day, per violation.

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DOT Hazmat Training Requirements

Watch this video to learn about the DOT training mandate for hazmat shippers:


Function-specific Hazmat Training

Hazmat employees must receive "function-specific" training as part of DOT’s initial and recurrent training mandate. Employees must have a detailed understanding of rules that apply to their hazmat job function.  
Lion Technology’s Hazmat Ground Shipper Training provides function-specific courses for employees who—
  • Oversee hazmat employees/operations
  • Read and apply 49 CFR regulations
  • Classify or name hazardous materials
  • Sign shipping papers
  • Load, unload, or handle hazmat
  • Provide or affix placards
  • Respond to hazmat incidents during transit
  • Select carrier(s) for hazmat shipments
  • Prepare hazmat packages for shipment

Lion Technology offers several courses on the Hazardous Materials Regulations found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Courses focus on how to safely prepare hazmat shipments for ground transport by common and contract carriers.

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Hazmat Training FAQ

Do I need hazmat training?

Under the US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) regulations at 49 CFR Parts 171-181 et al, DOT requires all employees who can “directly affect hazardous materials transportation safety” to complete hazmat training. See the video above for more about who needs hazmat training.

What kind of hazmat training does US DOT require?

Three types of hazmat training are required for ALL hazmat employees:

General Awareness—Hazmat general awareness training provides a “big picture” of hazardous materials and what makes them dangerous in transportation.

Security Awareness—Hazmat security awareness training shows employees how to identify and react to potential security threats, including threats from terrorism.

Function-specific Training—Function-specific hazmat training, as the name suggests, is training that covers the specific requirements each hazmat employee must know. For example, if an employee is responsible for marking and labeling hazmat packages, he or she must have training on the correct marks and labels to use and how hazmat labels should appear on the package to meet HMR requirements.

Two other types of hazmat training are required for SOME hazmat employees:

Safety Training—Hazmat safety training is required for employees who handle or may be exposed to hazardous materials in the workplace. This safety training may be covered under your site’s OSHA training program.

Security Plan Training—Businesses that ship hazmat in large volumes or ship particularly high-risk materials must maintain a DOT hazmat security plan. When a security plan is required, employees involved in preparing hazmat shipments must be trained on the specific elements of that plan, including any responsibilities delegated to them under the plan.

How often should hazmat training be refreshed/repeated/updated?

US DOT requires all hazmat employees to complete hazmat training within 90 days of hire, then once every three years thereafter. When rules change that affect the employee’s job, updated training is required. [49 CFR 172.704(c)(2)]

In their first 90 days, hazmat employees who have not yet completed hazmat training must be “directly supervised” when working. Employees who do not complete recurrent training within the three-year cycle may not perform any hazmat job function until training has been completed.

Recurrent training must include all the elements detailed above: general awareness, security awareness, function-specific training, and any other elements critical to the employee’s hazmat job. Also, hazmat training must include a test, and the employer must keep a formal record of training.

Do I need hazardous materials training to sign the Hazardous Waste Manifest?

When shipped in the US, any US EPA-regulated hazardous waste that requires the use of the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest is considered a hazardous material and is therefore subject to all the requirements of the US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). This includes completing the initial and recurrent hazmat training detailed above.

In Box 15 of the Manifest, the “certification statement” or “Generator’s/Offeror’s Certification” makes this requirement clear. It reads:

“I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described above by the proper shipping name, and are classified, packaged, marked, and labeled/placarded, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to applicable international and national government regulations….”

When you sign your name to this certification statement, you are stating that the shipment is in compliance with all requirements of US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations for hazmat shipments.

Can I be fined if I don’t complete hazmat training?

Yes. In fact, hazmat training is one of the only violations of the HMR for which there is a minimum penalty written in to the regulations—which means failure to train hazmat employees will always result in a fine of at least $463 per employee, per day.

In addition, mistakes while preparing hazmat for transport can lead to rejected shipments; incidents in transit; and US DOT fines up to $77,114 per day, per violation, making hazmat training a critical part of keeping shipments moving safely and on time.

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