U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Training Requirements

It’s the Law!

Code of Federal Regulations
Title 49, Subpart H, §172.700-172.704


PHMSA amended the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) in conformance with amendments to the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law that required DOT to regulate the training of all hazardous materials (hazmat) employees. Training which meets these requirements will increase a hazmat employee’s safety awareness and be an essential element in reducing hazmat incidents.

Training and the Hazmat Law

The Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.), is the basic statute regulating the transportation of hazardous materials (hazmat) in the United States. This law requires the training of ALL hazmat employees. The purpose is to increase a hazmat employee’s safety awareness and be an essential element in reducing hazmat incidents. The Hazardous Materials regulations (HMR) include training requirements in several sections of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as follows:

GENERAL § 173.1

SPECIFIC § 172.704


Each Hazmat Employer Must:

  • train and test
  • certify
  • develop and retain records of current training (inclusive of preceding three years) for each hazmat employee (during the period of employment and 90 days thereafter)

Training Must Include:

  • General awareness/familiarization
  • Function-specific, training
  • Safety
  • Security awareness
  • In-depth security training, if a security plan is required
  • Driver training (for each hazmat employee who will operate a motor vehicle)

Initial Training

A new employee, or an employee who changes job functions, may perform hazmat job functions before completing training, provided:

  • the employee does so under the direct supervision of a properly trained and knowledgeable hazmat employee; and
  • the hazmat training is completed within 90 days of employment or change in job function.

Recurrent Training

  • Is required at least once every three years. The three year period begins on the actual date of training.
  • Relevant training received from a previous employer or other source may be used to satisfy the requirements, provided a current record of training is obtained from the previous employer or source (i.e., OSHA, EPA, and other Federal or international agencies.) Training must address components specified in 172.704(a) of the HMR to be considered applicable.

Training Records Must Include:

  • Hazmat employee’s name
  • Completion date of most recent training
  • Training Materials (Copy, description, or location)
  • Name and address of hazmat trainer
  • Certification that the hazmat employee has been trained and tested.


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