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Interpretation Response #10-0170 ([Energy Solutions, Inc.] [Ms. Merrie Schilperoort])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Energy Solutions, Inc.

Individual Name: Ms. Merrie Schilperoort

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

December 6, 2010




Ms. Merrie Schilperoort

Training Manager

Energy Solutions, Inc.

2345 Stevens Drive, Suite 240

Richland, WA 99354

Reference No. 10-0170

Dear Ms. Schilperoort:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to recordkeeping for hazardous materials (hazmat) training. Your questions have been paraphrased and answered below:

Q1. To satisfy the recordkeeping requirements for training prescribed in § 172.704(d) of the HMR, are hazmat employers required to retain the written exams of their employees who complete hazardous materials training?

A1. The answer is no. The purpose of testing is to ensure that each hazmat employee has been trained on appropriate areas of responsibility and can perform their assigned duties in compliance with the HMR. Therefore, any method of testing that achieves this purpose (e.g., written, oral, or demonstration) and any document that certifies the hazmat employee can successfully perform these tasks is acceptable (e.g., written certificate, computer electronic file, index card, written documentation of tasks performed or answers given, or notebook entry), provided it satisfies the recordkeeping requirements in § 172.704(d). Paragraph (d) of § 172.704 also requires hazmat employers to create and maintain a record that documents the current training and testing, including the previous three years, of each of their hazmat employees, and to certify that the employee has completed this training.

Q2. If a copy of the exam must be maintained, when the employee is tested using a means other than a written exam (e.g., a demonstration test, or one where the employee answers the questions orally) what must be kept as evidence of this type of exam in the training record?

A2. See Answer A1.

Q3. Am I correct in my understanding that § 172.704(d) does not require a hazmat employee"s exam and/or score be retained to comply with the HMR"s recordkeeping requirements for hazardous materials training? This position is reiterated in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration"s guide, entitled " What You Should Know: A Guide to Developing a Hazardous Materials Training Program," where on page 5 it does not include an employee"s exam or score as part of the information required to be retained as part of a hazmat employee"s training record, and on page 15 where it states that "the HMR mandate the content and retention of training records; but [do] not prescribe the training record format."

A3. Your understanding is correct. An employer is not required to retain a hazmat employee"s exam or test results score to satisfy the recordkeeping requirement prescribed in

§ 172.704(d). The HMR require that a record of a hazmat employee"s training must include the following: (1) the employee"s name; (2) their most recent hazmat training completion date; (3) a description, copy, or location of the training materials used to meet the requirements prescribed in § 172.704(a); (4) the name and address of the person providing the training; and (5) certification that the employee has been trained and tested in conformance with 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart H. However, a blank or completed copy of an employee"s exam may be used to satisfy the requirement to maintain a copy of the hazmat training materials prescribed in § 172.704(d)(3), and an employee"s completed exam may be used as a record of his or her hazmat training.

I hope this satisfies your request.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.704 Training requirements