Interpretation Response #11-0271
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
February 13, 2012
Ms. Julie Brown
Eastman Chemical Co.
P.O. Box 431
Kingsport, TN 37662
Reference No.: 11-0271
Dear Ms. Brown:
This is in response to your October 27, 2011 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) as they pertain to the applicability of training requirements for tank car inspectors performing a list of provided job functions. Specifically you ask if a tank car inspector who performs a visual on the ground inspection consisting of the following tasks is required to have hazardous materials training in accordance with § 172.702 and § 172.704; verifying placards marked with UN identification numbers match a list provided by the shipper, verifying tank car stenciling is legible, verifying there is no evidence of material leaking from the bottom of the car, verifying there are no unsafe mechanical issues pertaining to operation, and reporting any issues to the shipper for proper disposition.
The answer to your question is yes. Hazmat employers are required by § 172.702(a) to "ensure that each of its hazmat employees is trained in accordance with the requirements" prescribed in Part 172, Subpart H of the HMR. As defined in § 171.8, a hazmat employee is a person who, in the course of his or her employment, "directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety." An employee who inspects shipments and verifies compliance with hazard communication requirements is performing a function that directly affects transportation safety and, thus, is subject to the training requirements in § 172.704 of the HMR.
I hope this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.
Senior Regulatory Advisor
Standards and Rulemaking Division