What New Truck Drivers Need To Know About Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) CDL Endorsement:
A hazardous material, as defined, is any substance or material that could adversely affect the safety of the public, handlers or carriers during transportation.
The Department Of Transportation (DOT) has classified certain materials as hazardous, and truck drivers are required to obtain a specific HAZMAT endorsement in order to transport them.
Part of the process for obtaining a Hazmat endorsement is passing a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) background check.
A criminal record could keep a driver from clearing the background check and getting a Hazmat endorsement.
Hazmat endorsements will need to be renewed at least every 5 years.
HAZMAT Endorsement For CDL Drivers:
In order to transport hazardous materials, drivers must hold a valid CDL for the state in which they are applying, and pass a Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test. Requirements vary by state.
See Also: Hazardous Materials Endorsement Training
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration), in accordance with the USA Patriot Act, has added another level to the process, called the TSA Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program, which will include submitting fingerprints and passing a background check. As always, it is important for new/potential drivers to be up-front about any items that may raise red flags on background checks.
Hazmat background checks will examine a drivers criminal record, as well as check for any outstanding wants and warrants, and terrorist watch lists.
Hazmat background checks could take up to 30 days to complete. See Also: TSA Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program for Hazmat endorsement eligibility guidelines.
The TSA lists various factors that could disqualify a driver from passing a background check.
See Also: TSA Background Check
Hazmat Endorsement Renewal:
Hazardous Material Endorsements (HME) will need to be renewed through the TSA at least every five (5) years, unless a shorter time frame is specified by a driver's particular state.
When renewing a Hazmat endorsement, CDL driver's will be required to submit to a new threat assessment, including fingerprinting and background check. Drivers will need to check with their individual states regarding length of Hazmat endorsement.
DOT Classifications of Hazardous Materials:
Hazard Class 1: Explosives
1.1 mass explosion hazard
1.2 projectile hazard
1.3 minor blast/projectile/fire
1.4 minor blast
1.5 insensitive explosives
1.6 very insensitive explosives
Hazard Class 2: Compressed Gases
- 2.1 flammable gases
- 2.2 non flammable compressed
- 2.3 poisonous
Hazard Class 3: Flammable Liquids
- Flammable (flash point below 141°)
- Combustible (flash point 141°-200°
Hazard Class 4: Flammable Solids
- 4.1 flammable solids
- 4.2 spontaneously combustible
- 4.3 dangerous when wet
Hazard Class 5: Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides
- 5.1 Oxidizer
- 5.2 Organic Peroxide
Hazard Class 6: Toxic Materials
- 6.1 Material that is poisonous
- 6.2 Infectious Agents
Hazard Class 7: Radioactive Material
- Radioactive I
- Radioactive II
- Radioactive III
Hazard Class 8: Corrosive Material
- Destruction of the human skin
- Corrode steel at a rate of 0.25 inches per year
Hazard Class 9: Miscellaneous
A material that presents a hazard during shipment but does not meet the definition of the other classes. For example:
- Magnetized material
- Elevated temperature goods
- Dry ice
- Environmentally hazardous substances
- Life-saving appliances
- Engines, internal combustion
- Polymeric beads
- Battery-powered equipment or vehicle
- Zinc Dithonite
Any driver looking for some really heavy further reading can read through the ENTIRE HAZMAT materials table. Enjoy!