Hazmat driving jobs

Written by susan sosbe
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Hazmat driving jobs
(Silsor, Wikimedia Commons)

Hazmat is an abbreviated form of the phrase "hazardous materials." Although transporting hazardous materials is usually not any more dangerous than other driving jobs, the potential for danger is considerably higher. Because of this, hazmat drivers must undergo more training and have more requirements. Also, because of the extra precautions that must be taken with hazardous material, the pay for hazmat driving jobs is usually higher.

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Significance

Drivers who transport hazardous material are an important part of the driving industry. Hazardous material is basically any material that can be dangerous if stored or released improperly. Hazmat drivers are properly trained in the loading, labelling, transporting and unloading of any material that is considered hazardous.

Requirements

Hazmat driving jobs are widely available. Most freight companies will require a commercial driver's license with hazmat endorsement or they will require that you are eligible to receive them. Also, in 2004 the Transportation Security Administration published a rule requiring all drivers who wish to obtain a hazmat endorsement to undergo a threat assessment. All new and reapplying hazmat drivers are now required to receive a background check and give their fingerprints for official records.

Considerations

Because of the potential dangers associated with transporting hazardous material, a driver is required to receive additional training. A hazmat test is required of all drivers who may transport hazmat material. This test is usually taken at an employer's request and must be retaken each time the license is up for renewal. People with certain felonies on their record are considered ineligible to transport hazmat material. They may qualify for a commercial driver's license but not qualify for a hazmat endorsement.

Warning

There is a certain elevated risk to having a hazmat driving job. If you are transporting hazardous material and are involved in an accident, there is a risk of the hazardous material being improperly spilt or released. There is also more paperwork and government regulations that must be followed when transporting hazardous material.

Misconceptions

When the term hazmat or hazardous material is mentioned, it often brings to mind corrosive or explosive material. However, this is not always the case. There are some paints or cleaners that are used every day in our homes that are considered hazardous material when shipped. This may be because of the quantity that is being shipped, or the potential for disaster if released improperly. Even an empty container that last contained hazardous material must be shipped under hazmat regulations because of possible residue or fumes.

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