The DOT defines a Hazmat employee as a person who is “Employed on a full-time, part time, or temporary basis by a hazmat employer and who in the course of such full time, part time or temporary employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety”.


This includes people who during the course of employment: “(i) Loads, unloads, or handles hazardous materials; (ii) Designs, manufactures, fabricates, inspects, marks, maintains, reconditions, repairs, or tests a package, container or packaging component that is represented, marked, certified, or sold as qualified for use in transporting hazardous material in commerce; (iii) Prepares hazardous materials for transportation; (iv) Is responsible for safety of transporting hazardous materials; (v) Operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials.

So in plain English if you are at all involved in the packaging, handling or even completing the paper work for hazardous materials that will be transported then you are a Hazmat employee.

Training and the Hazmat Law

The Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.) is the basic statute regulating the transportation of hazardous materials (hazmat) in the United States. This law requires the training of ALL hazmat employees. The purpose is to increase a hazmat employee’s safety awareness and be an essential element in reducing hazmat incidents.

Each Hazmat Employer Must:
  • train and test
  • certify
  • develop and retain records of current training (inclusive of preceding three years) for each hazmat employee (during the period of employment and 90 days thereafter)
Training Must Include:hazmat
  • General awareness/familiarization
  • Function-specific, training
  • Safety
  • Security awareness
  • In-depth security training, if a security plan is required
  • Driver training (for each hazmat employee who will operate a motor vehicle)
Initial Training

A new employee, or an employee who changes job functions, may perform hazmat job functions before completing training, provided the employee does so under the direct supervision of a properly trained and knowledgeable hazmat employee; and the hazmat training is completed within 90 days of employment or change in job function.

Recurrent Training…

Is required at least once every three years. The three year period begins on the actual date of training.

Training Records Must Include:
  • Hazmat employee’s name
  • Completion date of most recent training
  • Training Materials (Copy, description, or location)
  • Name and address of hazmat trainer
  • Certification that the hazmat employee has been trained and tested
Upcoming DOT Hazmat Open Class:

Tuesday- May 17, 2012

8:00 – noon

Ocoee Training Center

For more information or to register, go to