General Awareness Training

Designed to provide familiarity with the provisions of the dangerous goods and/or hazardous material transportation regulations, and to enable the employee to recognize and identify hazardous materials consistent with the hazard communication standards. The training provides an informative overview of the various regulated functions associated with dangerous goods transportation.   Fulfills U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Title 49, (49 CFR) Subpart H, Section 172.704 (49 CFR 172.704) and international Initial and Recurrent training requirements for recognition of hazardous materials.


Dangerous Goods General Awareness Training

General awareness training is not merely a supplementary course to function-specific training, which are training courses that focus more specifically on a particular mode of transport. It is also, and more importantly, a critical program for anyone involved in the handling and shipping of hazardous materials. The U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) understands this, which is why, as it has ingrained into federal law with 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart H, Section 172.704 it requires general awareness and security awareness training for all hazmat employees at least once every three years.

The Dangerous Goods General Awareness Training, which is accompanied by the free Security Awareness Training, provides training in the nine hazard classes; enabling the identification of dangerous goods during transportation by the use of labels, markings, identification numbers, and shipping papers; specific duties for the shipping process; and emergency response information. This course is intended for employees of companies which handle non-bulk hazardous materials, in order to provide them with an awareness of the dangerous goods that they will be handling during any point in the transportation process. Completing Hazmat University’s general awareness training program would satisfy training requirements. Dangerous goods training is based on the requirements outlined in the most current version of the IATA DGR and the ICAO Technical Instructions, and complies with Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) Subpart H, Section 172.704 and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.



Learn More About General Awareness Online Training

Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) Part 172, Subpart H, Section 172.704 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) states the following in regards to the requirements for hazardous materials training:

“Each hazmat employee shall be provided general awareness/familiarization training designed to provide familiarity with the requirements of this subchapter [the HMR], and to enable the employee to recognize and identify hazardous materials consistent with the hazard communication standards of this subchapter.”

Equal requirements are prescribed by the International Air Transport Assocation (IATA)’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods IMDG) Code. In order to help employers and employees comply with these regulations as well as the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) regulations for hazardous materials as listed in 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart H, Section 172.704, Hazmat University offers an online course for general awareness training. The training provides an informative overview of a number of subjects in compliance with federal and international regulations. These subjects largely regard the safe and proper execution of function-specific duties such as the classification, identification, documentation (including shipping papers), marking, labeling, packaging, placarding, segregation, safety and security of hazardous materials.

A wide range of other topics are covered in the online training, including the precise definition of dangerous goods and a list of examples. Also discussed are the nine hazard classes that hazardous materials regulations assign to classify dangerous goods. These classes help hazmat employees determine how to properly handle various hazardous materials during the transportation process.

General information on the subject of emergency response involving hazardous materials is also included. This instruction is based on information found in the Emergency Response Guidebook. An electronic version of this manual is included with the purchase of the training.

Also included at no cost with general awareness training is Security Awareness Training. This training is for the purpose of educating hazmat employees on how to make sure that the shipping process is protected from interference by intruders, as well as how to act in the event that any intruders involve themselves in the process.

With Hazmat University, this and other types of training are all conducted exclusively through online training. This method comes with a number of benefits over the traditional on-site training environment. Anyone who signs up for the course can undergo their training at any time and in any location as long as they have a working internet connection. They are also able to start and complete the program any time of the year instead of on specific dates.

The Importance of the Training

It should be noted that each of Hazmat University’s training programs for shipping dangerous goods by ground, air, or vessel include general awareness training within. According to the regulations prescribed in 49 CFR, IATA DGR and IMDG, these programs would be considered sufficient for earning general awareness/familiarization training certification. As such, the employees who may benefit most from the general awareness training option that Hazmat University offers, are those who do not directly work with, handle or have a direct impact in the transportation of hazardous materials and yet have roles in the process of transporting them. These can include, but are not limited to, managers; supervisors; officials and employees in airports, seaports, and mailing offices; and even receptionists.

When we insist that anyone involved in the hazardous materials shipping process must know and comply with the various transportation safety regulations that govern the process, we do mean anyone. Even if someone does not have to so much as touch or look at a hazardous material as part of their duties, they can still benefit from knowing examples of dangerous goods and how to react in the event of a hazardous materials incident, among other information. If an employee involved in the shipping process does not need to know the details presented in function-specific programs, which place a greater emphasis on giving instruction in the relevant regulations and information for a certain mode of transportation, then training specifically for general awareness would be more suitable for them.

Any employees who directly work with or handle hazardous materials and have a direct impact as part of the transportation process can still take this separate course if they wish, especially because it provides information that all hazmat employees must know and comply with. It should be noted that in spite of the fact that our individual programs for the separate modes of hazardous materials transportation also include some general awareness information, our general awareness training program is not divided into separate programs tailored for those modes of transportation.

Recurrent Training

In addition, 49 CFR states that, as with the other types of training required by Subpart H, hazmat employees must also undergo recurrent training in general awareness/familiarization “at least once every three years.” This rule was not put in place as a mere exercise in bureaucracy, but as a vital safety measure for the hazardous materials transportation process. The federal government has deemed this aspect of hazmat employee training to be important enough that they are required by law to go through it and receive certification again before too much time has passed.

Recurrent general awareness training is especially important because Federal and International regulations such as 49 CFR, IATA DGR, and IMDG are amended every year, with laws being added or amended as seen fit. This means that any training that involves 49 CFR, IATA DGR, or IMDG must be updated every year to include any new additions or changes to the regulations and procedures made over the course of the previous year. That is why even hazmat employees who have already successfully received certification for hazardous materials transportation in the past must undergo training again. Doing so ensures that they receive the most up-to-date information on the hazmat regulations, which they might not have been aware of without the refresher training.

If you are involved in the shipping and handling of lithium batteries, it is highly recommended that you also purchase our Supplemental Lithium Batteries Training, which is available in this store.


Hazmat University's Dangerous Goods General Awareness Training includes the most up-to-date information on 49 CFR, as well as relevant regulations mandates like the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG).


Have Questions?

Need help selecting the right online hazmat training course for your training needs?  Please call us at (844) 532-7634 or (609) 860-0300, and we'll be glad to help you!

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