Dangerous Goods & Hazmat Training FAQs & Answers

Here you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding hazmat and dangerous goods training. Learn more about who needs training, why they need it and how often training is needed below. Contact Currie Associates for more information about the hazmat and dangerous goods training programs and options available to meet your needs.

Q: Who needs dangerous goods/hazmat training?

Anyone who is involved in the preparation for transport of hazardous materials or dangerous goods in your company is required by law to be trained. These functions include:

  • Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Goods Manager
  • Regulatory Affairs Coordinators
  • Production Supervisors
  • Cargo Handlers
  • Shipping Supervisors
  • Shipping Clerks
  • Warehouse Supervisors
  • Purchasing Agents
  • Drivers
  • Packaging personnel
  • Stowage planners
  • Any person who designs, tests, marks, manufactures, reconditions, repairs packagings or is responsible for safety in transporting hazardous materials meets the definition of “hazmat employee” in 49 CFR section 171.8.

Q: How often do hazmat/dangerous goods employees need to be trained?

Initial training must be completed within 90 days of hazmat employment or change in job function. Hazmat employees must be directly supervised by a trained and knowledgeable employee until trained themselves.

Hazmat training received from a previous employer or other source can be used to meet the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) requirements – provided that a current record of training is obtained from the previous employer.

Hazmat employees must complete recurrent training within 24 months for ICAO/IATA and within 3 years for 49 CFR and IMDG.

However, if a new regulation is adopted or an existing regulation is changed, that relates to a function performed by a hazmat employee, that employee must be trained on the new/revised requirements. This training must be completed before the employee performs the function and before the three year recurrent training is required. The employee only needs to be instructed on the new/revised requirements.

Q: What is the difference between “general awareness” and “function specific” training?

General Awareness or familiarization training must provide familiarity with the requirements of the HMR and enable hazmat employees to recognize and identify hazardous materials using the hazard communication standards.

Function Specific training is specific to the functions employee performs and meets requirements of Subchapter C, or special permits issued under subchapter A.

Q: Why do I have to be trained?

As mentioned in response to the first question, hazmat and dangerous goods training is mandated by law. (See 49 CFR, subpart H – Training.)

Please reference the training requirements found here for additional information.

Links to other helpful industry FAQs:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
US DOT Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
US DOT OSHA Hazard Communication (HAZCOM)