Definition of a Hazmat Employee
The DOT defines a hazmat employee in 171.8 of the CFR Title 49 as: Hazmat employee means: (1) A person who is: (i) 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; (ii) Self-employed (including an owner-operator of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft) transporting hazardous materials in commerce who in the course of such self-employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety; (iii) A railroad signalman; or (iv) A railroad maintenance-of-way employee. (2) This term includes an individual, employed on a full time, part time, or temporary basis by a hazmat employer, or who is self-employed, 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.
Hazmat employers are required to provide training as specified in 172.704 of the Title 49 CFR which states in paragraph (a): Hazmat employee training shall include the following: (1) General awareness/familiarization training. Each hazmat employee shall be provided general awareness/familiarization training designed to provide familiarity with the requirements of this subchapter, and to enable the employee to recognize and identify hazardous materials consistent with the hazard communication standards of this subchapter. (2) Function-specific training. (i) Each hazmat employee must be provided function-specific training concerning requirements of this subchapter, or exemptions or special permits issued under subchapter A of this chapter, that are specifically applicable to the functions the employee performs. (ii) As an alternative to function-specific training on the requirements of this subchapter, training relating to the requirements of the ICAO Technical Instructions and the IMDG Code may be provided to the extent such training addresses functions authorized by §§171.11 and 171.12 of this subchapter. (3) Safety training. Each hazmat employee shall receive safety training concerning – (i) Emergency response information required by subpart G of part 172; (ii) Measures to protect the employee from the hazards associated with hazardous materials to which they may be exposed in the work place, including specific measures the hazmat employer has implemented to protect employees from exposure; and (iii) Methods and procedures for avoiding accidents, such as the proper procedures for handling packages containing hazardous materials. (4) Security awareness training. No later than the date of the first scheduled recurrent training after March 25, 2003, and in no case later than March 24, 2006, each hazmat employee must receive training that provides an awareness of security risks associated with hazardous materials transportation and methods designed to enhance transportation security. This training must also include a component covering how to recognize and respond to possible security threats. After March 25, 2003, new hazmat employees must receive the security awareness training required by this paragraph within 90 days after employment. (5) In-depth security training. By December 22, 2003, each hazmat employee of a person required to have a security plan in accordance with subpart I of this part must be trained concerning the security plan and its implementation. Security training must include company security objectives, specific security procedures, employee responsibilities, actions to take in the event of a security breach, and the organizational security structure.
172.704 paragraph (c) (1)(2) of Title 49 CFR details requirements for Initial and recurrent training – (1) Initial training. A new hazmat employee, or a hazmat employee who changes job functions may perform those functions prior to the completion of training provided – (i) The employee performs those functions under the direct supervision of a properly trained and knowledgeable hazmat employee; and (ii) The training is completed within 90 days after employment or a change in job function. (2) Recurrent training. A hazmat employee shall receive the training required by this subpart at least once every 3 years.
NOTE: ICAO/IATA recurrent training is required every 2 years.