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DOT HAZMAT: Why Take a Course Online?

Did you know that the transportation of COVID-19 test samples falls under DOT regulations? The COVID-19 virus is a Category B substance and requires transportation by workers who have received adequate training.

You might not think of the extensive nature DOT covers, but they regulate many substances and materials that pose a risk to the environment and humanity. If your company works with hazardous materials, even to a small degree, DOT requires that all employees follow training and certification guidelines.

But did you know that you can take these courses online? Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on what DOT HAZMAT training is and how you can get started, so keep reading for more information!

What Is DOT HAZMAT Training?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is a federal organization. Created in the late 1960s, they aim at improving transportation systems nationally and globally.

DOT also requires specific training for the transportation of hazardous materials. All companies with employees who fall under DOT regulation must adhere to regulations and rules for hazardous materials. This includes employees who:

  • Provide hazardous material for transport
  • Package or label hazardous materials
  • Load or unload hazardous materials from transport vehicles
  • Transport
  • Forward hazardous material packages
  • Manufacture packaging
  • Test packaging

Ultimately, these categories can be broken down simply into anyone who packages, ships, labels, accepts, loads, or transports hazardous material on the job. It is not limited to ground traffic - transport by rail, water, and air require HAZMAT training.

Training Requirements

DOT HAZMAT training requirements cover six general areas. These general categories include:

  • Awareness
  • Function-specific
  • Safety
  • Security Awareness
  • Security Plan
  • Driver training

Not everyone will need training on 'driver training,' but it is helpful for employees to have a basic understanding and contingency plan for dealing with hazardous materials.

Function-specific training dives further into job-specific courses that are available for employees. At Compliance Training Online, there are six DOT HAZMAT courses that you can pick from:

  • Awareness, security, and function-specific (e.g., ground carrier shipping requirements)
  • Aviation
  • CDL HAZMAT transportation
  • Railroad
  • Waterways
  • Shipping lithium batteries

DOT HAZMAT also governs interstate and foreign commerce, and courses with the ground, air, waterway, or rail transportation cover these two topics.

How Long Do Online Courses Take?

The length of time with an online course may vary between job-specific options, but as an example, you can look at the DOT HAZMAT awareness, security, and function-specific training course. This course satisfies training for workers under the 49 CFR Part 172 portion of DOT.

This course is for any employee who packages, marks, labels, or transports hazardous materials per DOT guidelines. Proper handling and safeguarding of hazardous materials is the emphasizing point during training.

At a minimum, the course requires three hours of training. There are no rules that say you can't take longer than that.

Training is required within 90 days of employment, and retraining every three years. Retraining is also mandated if an employee's job description or function changes.

DOT HAZMAT Certification

Upon completing the course, a worker receives a printable certification that shows adequate training after a DOT HAZMAT test. Even small businesses or those who interact with hazardous materials infrequently are still required to show proof of certification. If you don't, you risk non-compliance with Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), and DOT can issue a fine.

HMR also outlines exact training that courses must uphold too. This branch of DOT helps standardize hazardous materials classifications, packaging, communication, and emergency response. Incident reporting and security also fall under this branch.

Common Non-Compliance Fines

Fines have increased over the years, with recent changes made in the past year. Your company can accrue tens of thousands of dollars in fines if cited for non-compliance with hazardous materials. Some of the more common fines are:

  • Lack of initial training
  • Lack of recurrent training
  • Lack of security training
  • No training records
  • No security plan
  • Undeclared shipments
  • Lack of shipping papers and details

Ultimately, your business and licenses can be at risk if you don't adhere to proper guidelines. In worse scenarios, workers' and other's people's health are at extreme risk with exposure to certain hazardous materials.

Exposure Risk

What are some of the health and ecological impacts of improper handling of hazardous materials?

  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Cancer
  • Genetic mutations
  • Kidney failure
  • Reproductive health impairment
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Physical deformities

Chronic toxicity of certain substances poses a risk for humans and animals alike and can last for years or decades. Contaminating the environment with toxic materials can be highly detrimental and threaten multiple ecosystems.

Taking Online Courses

Taking DOT HAZMAT courses online means your employees can start and stop on their timeframe. You are no longer taking days off to go to in-person classes. Now, you can have all the tools, information, and education at the touch of your fingertips.

It can also help employees retain information better since they can stop at any time and review materials they didn't quite understand. It is more cost-effective and lets you train multiple employees at one time.

Find DOT HAZMAT Courses Today

At Compliance Training Online, we have extensive course options for DOT training. DOT HAZMAT courses are designed for employees who package, handle or interact with hazardous materials. With six job-specific options you can choose from, you can ensure that your company adheres to DOT policies and regulations on hazardous materials.

Choosing online courses saves you expensive trips and time off for your employees by traveling somewhere. What are you waiting for? Check out our website and entire course catalog, and find the one your company needs.

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