Hazmat transportation, as one of the most difficult types of trucking, is expanding rapidly in the USA. This type of transportation is regulated by the US Department of Transportation.
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What makes hazmat transportation dangerous for people are the actual substances that truck drivers have to transport. Therefore, hazardous substances can cause harm to the environment, to people, as well as to properties. It is generally known that due to the complexity of the hazmat transportation, hazmat truck drivers are awarded a higher salary.
You must be asking yourself why are hazmat materials so important? Well, in fact, hazmat materials are used as essential products for the production of many products that are essential to protect out health and safety. In fact, hazmat transportation is driving the overall USA economy.
These days we can notice that hazmat transportation is expanding in the USA because almost all industries have become dependent on hazardous materials.
In fact, hazardous materials are divided into 9 classes according to their properties. Nowadays there are more than thousands of different hazardous materials in use.
First and foremost, hazmat truck drivers shall be extremely careful, they shall not allow natural gas leaks and flammable and combustible liquid spills to take place.
Since it seems like hazmat transportation increased overnight, these days there are people that are a bit confused about what hazmat transportation is in fact? Well, nowadays unlike decades ago lithium batteries, for example, are considered to be a hazardous material. Seeing this simple example, you can understand the need for this article.
Well, I would like to start this article by defining what is hazmat transportation, or more precisely what is considered to be a hazardous material: “Hazardous materials are the substances that can cause health and physical hazard. That is to say, chemicals that are carcinogens, toxic agents, irritants, corrosives.”
The example that I have presented to you with the batteries shows how fast an item/ product can be considered as a hazardous material.
Yet, so far hazmat transportation is highly regulated. In general, all regulations that are concerning the hazmat transportation are part of the Federal Code of Regulations CFR.
The aim of all these strict rules and regulations that are concerning the hazardous materials transportation are with the aim to establish a national policy. By that will be set new standards about this type of transportation, and not only that they will also be enforced.
Hazardous transportation is highly regulated; one of the main reasons why it is so is to prepare the public and the first witnesses to reduce the consequences if an incident with hazardous materials takes place.
Nowadays there are numerous nationwide trucking companies that have specialized in hazardous materials transportation. All these trucking companies are providing exceptional services, and not only that, they are also helping their truck drivers to achieve a bigger expertise by providing them continual training.
So, if you have hazardous materials that have to be transported then you have a wide choice, but still, you will have to check carefully if the trucking company has educated employees that are able to provide you effective hazmat transportation processes and services.
The overall process of HAZMAT transportation is tough, and as such it requires very well-trained truck drivers. The only way that truck drivers can prevent and at the same time reduce any accidents or errors in the hazmat transportation process is by undergoing hazmat training.
All employees that are engaged in the transportation process of hazardous materials must get hazmat training. Therefore, the hazmat training is regulated by the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law.
Moreover, the truck drivers that have passed hazmat training can certainly say that that training helped them in a great measure to increase their awareness and to reduce risky driving that can lead to hazmat incidents.
So, each hazmat training that is conducted in the USA is following the training requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations-HMR.
In general, hazmat training shall include:
Later on, hazmat truck drivers after the training will receive a certification. Yet, I must mention that each truck driver that wants to haul hazardous materials must complete the hazmat training in a 90 days period of time.
Also, speaking of what a hazmat employee shall receive during the hazmat training in order to be enabled to perform safe hazmat transportation includes:
It is important for you to know that the hazmat training must be done by a knowledgeable hazmat employee.
On the other hand, when it comes to recurrent hazmat training you will have to undergo it at least once every three years. You shall pay special attention to this because the three year period of time is actually beginning from the start date of the training, not the day when you get your certificate.
DOT Hazardous materials transportation regulations are directed by the Secretary of Transportation. That is to say, the Secretary is responsible for establishing regulations for hazardous materials transportation. All DOT hazardous materials transportation regulations do apply to all truckers that are transporting hazardous materials.
Thereupon, DOT Hazardous materials transportation regulations can be divided into various sections. For example, we have the pre-transportation functions, as well as the transportation functions.
As you already know, the DOT HMR is issued with the aim to promote safe hazmat transportation, and as such, it can be done through effective communication of the hazardous information.
Moreover, the DOT HMR include:
On the other hand, if a hazmat truck driver is not transporting the loads in compliance with the DOT hazardous materials transportation regulations, will face a penalty. The maximum penalty for hazmat truck drivers that are not following the rules and regulations is $75.000.
There are very strict rules and regulations that indicate the shipper responsibilities. Therefore, the shipper responsibilities are contained in the 49 CFR Part 173.
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