Bureau of Dangerous Goods

Frequently Asked Questions for Online Hazmat Training

Do you or your hazmat employees need training? Unsure if online hazmat training is right for you or your business? The following FAQ addresses these concerns and other common questions asked regarding training for hazardous materials.

Who should be trained?

The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates provisions for training to any company that performs any function regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). This includes any of the following functions:
  • offers hazardous materials for transportation,
  • packages, marks or labels hazardous materials for transportation,
  • loads or unloads hazmat transport vehicles,
  • transport hazmat,
  • receives and forwards hazardous materials shipments,
  • manufactures packaging used to transport hazmat, and/or
  • conducts testing for hazmat packaging.
Each hazmat employer is required and responsible for training each of their hazmat employees. This is true for businesses of any size (e.g. self-employed, partnerships, corporations, etc.). There are no exceptions to this rule.
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Who is considered a "hazmat employee"?

A hazmat employee is any of the following:
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • A railroad signalman; or
  • A railroad maintenance-of-way employee.
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:
  • Loads, unloads, or handles hazardous materials;
  • 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.
  • Prepares hazardous materials for transportation;
  • Is responsible for safety of transporting hazardous materials;
  • Operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials.

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How often should I be trained in hazardous materials?

New hazmat employees and hazmat employees who undergo a change in job function must complete initial training within 90 days after employment or change in job function [49CFR §172.704(c)(1)]. Recurrent training must be completed at least once every three years [49CFR §172.704(c)(2)].

Some modes of transportation and other countries may have shorter time frames where initial and recurrent training must be completed (e.g. IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for transporting hazmat by aircraft requires recurrent training at least once every two years [IATA DGR]).
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Is online training the same as classroom, instructor-led training?

Online training is different from classroom, instructor-led training in several ways. While having a live instructor in a classroom setting is the ideal training environment, we have formulated an alternative approach with our online training that matches (or surpasses) standard classroom training. Our online training offers the following benefits over classroom training:
  • Lower cost — there are no travel or instructor costs associated with online training
  • Self-paced learning — learn the regulations at your own speed; rewind, fast forward through and repeat a course for specific training material helps students learn and retain important information
  • Instant enrollment — register for a course and begin learning right away; no waiting for a start date or instructor to arrive
  • Relevant training content — regulations are updated several times throughout the year; online training courses are updated with the latest regulatory provisions available
  • Certificate of training — print out your Certificate of Training upon course completion to comply with record retention requirements

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What if I don't ship hazmat often?

There are no exceptions to the rule. If you ship or transport anything considered a hazardous material of any quantity and of any frequency, you must be trained. Updated records of your training must be kept and available upon request.
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I'm not sure if I want online or classroom training

Okay, no problem! The Bureau of Dangerous Goods provides hazmat training for the classroom in select cities around the United States and on-site training anywhere around the world. If you're not yet convinced about online hazmat training, we'll work with you and your hazmat employees to ensure that the desired method of training is received. For more information and to speak with one of our training representatives, please give us a call at 609-860-0300 or e-mail us at sales@bureaudg.com.
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Do I receive a certificate for being trained in hazmat?

Students who successfully enroll and complete their online hazmat training course at Hazmat University will receive a certificate that meets the requirements of record keeping for trained hazmat employees [49CFR §172.704(d)]. This certificate will include the following information:
  • The hazmat employee's name,
  • The completion date of training,
  • A description of the materials used to meet the requirements for training,
  • Name and address of training provider,
  • Certification that the hazmat employee has been successfully trained and tested.
Each course is comprised of one or more modules consisting of a lesson and an exam. Upon successfully completing all modules, the student will be awarded with a Certificate of Completion, provided payment has been received.
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Domestic vs. International training

Domestic shipments of hazardous materials within the United States must comply with Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) or commonly known as the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). If hazmat shipments are being transported by air or ocean internationally, applicable regulations from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) may apply respectively. Both IATA and IMO regulations have their own training requirements in addition to the 49 CFR.
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Fines and civil penalties?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) conduct unannounced inspections regarding the activities of transporters of hazardous materials.

If the inspection finds that your business does not meet the proper requirements for hazmat training, your business may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.

CIVIL Minimum $450.00
Maximum $75,000.00
CRIMINAL Individual $250,000.00
Corporation $500,000.00

Proper hazardous materials training helps ensure compliance with the regulations for transporting hazmat to avoid these civil penalties, and the safety of hazmat employees and everyone involved throughout packaging and transportation.

All online courses provided by Hazmat University meet regulatory guidelines for training outlined in 49 CFR §172.704. If you have any questions regarding these requirements or any of our courses, please call us at 609-860-0300 or e-mail sales@bureaudg.com.
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