FAQ About Hazardous Material Training

FAQ About Hazardous Material Training

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Are you unsure if you need to take HM 181 or other hazmat certification or training for handling hazardous waste? Most people who work with hazmat take up to 40 hours of OSHA mandated training and some have specific licenses that differ by state. Working with hazardous wastes can be well worth the investment. As of 2016, the median salary for workers involved in hazardous material removal nationwide was over $40,000. Read on for some frequently asked questions about HM 181 and other hazardous materials training.

Who Needs It?

Over three billion tons of hazmat is shipped every year, and in the United States, every shipment that goes out has to comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations. All managers and employees preparing any hazmat material to transport are required by law to have training. This includes full time, part-time, and temp workers, as well as the self-employed. This regulation covers everyone involved in any level of transport, from prepping, loading, unloading, or operating a vehicle containing the material. It also includes anyone in any way involved with designing, making, inspecting, or repairing any kind of container that holds a hazardous substance.

How Often Does HM 181 And Other Training Have to Be Done?

All employees and managers who take the training must retrain every three years. There is an exception to this if new regulations are made or existing ones changed. If any new regulation or adaptation applies to the work a person does, that person must retrain immediatly, though only in that area.

Does Training Have to Happen When Only Tiny Amounts of Hazmat Materials Are Shipped?

No matter how small the amount or how infrequent the shipments, if any hazardous materials ever go through a facility at any time, employees and managers involved must take the required training for shipping hazmat materials.

What Are Hazardous Materials?

The DOT classifies hazardous materials into nine different groups, and included is any type of substance that could potentially hurt the environment or a person or animal. The most transported hazmat material in America is flammable liquid, and primarily gas. The highest value shipped commodity is electronics.

What is the Penalty for Failing to Get Training?

Skipping HM 181 or other training is a serious mistake. The law allows for a minimum fine of $463 per person, per day.

Is the Training the Same for Everything?

HM 181 is the basic training required for everyone who is in any way involved in transporting hazardous goods. However, additional training is required by the International Air Transport Association or the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code for those who will be involved in shipping hazmat by air or sea.

Getting trained to deal with hazmat opens up possibilities for work and is the first step towards getting any kind of certification. It’s also required by law, and failing to get training can carry serious financial penalties. Every year, 11 billion tons of freight gets hauled by American trucks across 250 billion miles of the United States. Prepare yourself to take part with quality HM 181 training; and maybe even consider going on to get further certification.


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