According to DOT, a HazMat employee is defined 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 basis directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety.” More so, this includes a person or employer that uses one employee on temporary, part-time, or full-time basis and practices one or more of the following:
- Loading, unloading, or handling hazardous materials
- Tests, repairs, modifies, marks a package or a packaging component that is marked, represented, or sold as for use in transporting hazardous materials
- Prepares and organizes hazmat for transportation
- Responsible for safety of transporting hazardous materials
- Operation of vehicle that is utilized to transport hazmat
To summarize, if you are involved or responsible for the packaging, handling, or even simply completing paperwork for the transportation of hazardous materials, then you are considered 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
- 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:
- General awareness/familiarization
- Function-specific, training
- Security awareness
- In-depth security training, if a security plan is required
- Driver training (for each hazmat employee who will operate a motor vehicle)
- 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.
- 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