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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #08-0084 ([Transportation Development Group] [Mr. Jim Powell])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Transportation Development Group

Individual Name: Mr. Jim Powell

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 23, 2008






Mr. Jim Powell

Transportation Development Group

2023 E. Sims Way, Suite 372

Port Townsend, WA 98368

Ref. No. 08-0084

Dear Mr. Powell

This is in response to your March 24, 2008 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) as they apply to a "hazmat employer" and a "hazmat employee."

In your letter, you describe a scenario consisting of two companies: Company A and Company B. Company A is a third-party logistics provider (freight forwarder) that has employees who prepare hazardous materials shipments for transportation at Company B"s facility. Company B is a manufacturer and shipper of hazardous materials. In addition to its own employees, Company B also supervises the employees of Company A in hazardous materials functions.

You ask whether Company A or Company B employees are "hazmat employees." You ask which company is a "hazmat employer." You ask whether it is Company B"s responsibility to train the employees of Company A that it supervises. You ask whether it is the responsibility of Company A to evaluate Company B"s training of its employees by Company B.

As defined in § 171.8, a "hazmat employee" is a person who is employed on a full-time, part time, or temporary basis, and who in the course of such employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety. Section 171.8 also defines a "hazmat employer" to mean a person who employs or uses at least one hazmat employee on a full-time, part time, or temporary basis, and who: (1) transports hazardous materials in commerce; (2) causes hazardous materials to be transported in commerce; or (3) designs, manufactures, fabricates, inspects, marks, maintains, reconditions, repairs or tests a package, container, or packaging component that is represented, marked, certified, or sold by that person as qualified for use in transporting hazardous materials in commerce. As specified in § 172.702, a hazmat employer must ensure that each of its hazmat employees is trained in accordance with the training requirements prescribed in the HMR.

Under your scenario, Company A is a hazmat employer, responsible for ensuring that Company A"s hazmat employees are trained in accordance with the training requirements in Subpart H of Part 172 of the HMR. Likewise, Company B is a hazmat employer, responsible for ensuring that Company B"s hazmat employees are trained in accordance with Subpart H of Part 172. In addition, Company B is responsible for ensuring that the Company A employees it supervises are trained in accordance with Subpart H of Part 172. It is important to note that the HMR do not specify who must actually perform the training, bur rather provide that the hazmat employer must ensure that that each of its hazmat employees is trained. Thus, Company B could assume responsibility for training Company A"s employees through a contractual arrangement with Company A.

It should also be noted that the HMR do not prevent Company A from reviewing Company B"s training methods, particularly as they affect Company A"s hazmat employees. However, such a review does not relieve Company B of its responsibility as a hazmat employer to ensure that the Company A employees it supervises are properly trained.

I hope this information is helpful.

Sincerely,

Susan Gorsky,

Acting Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

171.8, Subpart H 172.700

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
172.702 Applicability and responsibility for training and testing