Dangerous Goods Training FAQs

What is Hazmat Training? Who Needs It?

Hazmat training teaches how to safely handle and prepare hazardous materials for Air, Land and Sea/Ocean transportation. The US Department of Transportation requires hazmat training for any company that performs a function regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). This includes an individual, who is employed by a hazmat employer on a full time, part time, or temporary basis, or who is self-employed, who during the course of employment:

  • Loads/Unloads, or handles hazardous materials
  • Designs, manufactures, fabricates, inspects, marks, maintains, reconditions, repairs, or tests a package, container or packaging component that is represented, marked, certified, or sold as qualified for use in transporting hazardous material in commerce
  • Prepares hazardous materials for transport
  • Is responsible for the safe transportation of hazardous materials
  • Operates a vehicle used in transporting hazardous materials

A hazmat employee is any of the following:

  • Employed on a full-time, part time, or temporary basis by a hazmat employer and who in the course of such full time, part time or temporary employment is directly involved in the safe transport of hazardous materials.
  • Self-employed (including an owner-operator of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft) and transporting hazardous materials in commerce, who directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety
  • A railroad maintenance-of-way employee or railroad signalman.

Each hazmat employer is responsible for training each of their hazmat employees. Employee training is a requirement of HMR. This applies to businesses of any size (e.g. self-employed, partnerships, corporations, etc.). There are no exceptions to this rule.


What is IATA Training? IMDG? 49CFR?

International Air Transport Association (IATA) training teaches Dangerous Goods Regulations, including proper identification, classification, documentation, labeling, marking, placarding, packaging and safety of dangerous goods to be shipped internationally by Air/ Aircraft.


49 CFR training teaches DOT Regulations for the proper identification, classification, documentation, labeling, marking, placarding, packaging and safety of dangerous goods to be shipped within the United States by Land/Highway.


International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code Training teaches regulations regarding the proper identification, classification, documentation, labeling, marking, placarding, packaging and safety of dangerous goods to be shipped internationally by Ocean/Vessel.


What is Not Covered in This Hazmat Training?

Bulk, Class 7, Division 6.2 and Product Specific are not covered in these trainings.


How Often Should I Be Trained in Hazardous Materials?

New hazmat employees and hazmat employees who undergo a change in job function must complete initial training within 90 days after employment or change in job function [49CFR §172.704(c)(1)]. Recurrent training must be completed at least once every three years [49CFR §172.704(c)(2)].


Some modes of transportation, and other countries, may have shorter time frames for initial and recurrent training to be completed (e.g. IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for transporting hazmat by aircraft requires recurrent training a minimum of every two years [IATA DGR]).

Is Online Training as Suitable as Classroom, Instructor-Led Training?

Online training is different from classroom, instructor-led training in several ways. While having a live instructor in a classroom setting is the ideal training environment, we have formulated an alternative approach with our online training that matches (or surpasses) standard classroom training. Our online training offers the following benefits over classroom training:


  • Lower cost — there are no travel or instructor costs associated with online training
  • Self-paced learning — learn the regulations at your own speed; the ability to rewind, fast forward through and repeat a course for specific training material helps students learn and retain important information
  • Instant enrollment — register for a course and begin learning right away; no waiting for a start date or instructor to arrive
  • Relevant training content — regulations are updated several times throughout the year; our online training courses are also updated with the latest regulatory provisions available
  • Certificate of training — print out your Certificate of Training upon course completion to comply with record retention requirements

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What If I Don’t Ship Hazmat Often?

There are no exceptions to the rule. If you ship or transport anything considered a hazardous material, of any quantity, and of any frequency, you must be trained. Updated records of your training must be kept and available upon request.

How Do I Become Hazmat Certified? Will I Receive a Certificate?

Students who successfully complete their online hazmat training course at Hazmat University will receive a training certificate that meets the requirements of record keeping for hazmat employees [49CFR §172.704(d)]. This certificate is issued electronically via PDF once the Dangerous Goods training course is successfully completed online. It will include the following information:


  • The hazmat employee’s name
  • The training completion date
  • A description of the materials used to meet the requirements for training
  • Name and address of training provider
  • Certification that the hazmat employee has been successfully trained and tested

Each course is comprised of one or more elements consisting of a lesson and an exam. Upon successfully completing all elements, the student will be awarded the Certificate of Completion, provided payment has been received.

What’s the Difference Between Domestic & International Training?

Domestic shipments of hazardous materials within the United States must comply with Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR), commonly known as the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). If hazmat shipments are transported by air or ocean internationally, applicable regulations from International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) may apply respectively. Both IATA and IMO regulations have their own training requirements in addition to the 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations.

What Are the Fines or Civil Penalties for Non-Compliance?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) conduct unannounced inspections regarding the activities of transporters of hazardous materials.


If the inspection finds that your business does not meet the proper requirements for hazmat training, your business may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.


Civil and criminal penalties are outlined in 49 CFR §107.329


Proper hazardous materials training helps ensure compliance with the regulations for hazmat transport, in order to avoid civil penalties and contribute to the safety of hazmat employees, and everyone involved throughout packaging and transportation.


All online courses provided by DB Schenker Online Training meet the regulatory guidelines for training found in 49 CFR §172.704.


Have questions? Click below to contact us anytime. Click here to send us an email. Or call us and speak directly with one of our experts (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET). 

Schenker, Inc.
Trade Advisory & Risk Solutions
41 Pinelawn Road, Suite 110
Melville, NY 11747
Phone +1 (844) 724-8723 (in USA)
Phone +1 (516) 690-2171 (outside USA)