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PHMSA defers training enforcement

August 18, 2020 By    

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) extended its enforcement policy regarding training requirements, according to the National Propane Gas Association.

PHMSA encourages use of alternative training methods even when testing is not possible during the pandemic. Photo by LP Gas staff

PHMSA encourages use of alternative training methods even when testing is not possible during the pandemic. Photo by LP Gas staff

PHMSA will not take enforcement action against a hazmat offeror or carrier who is unable to provide recurrent training in accordance with the existing hazmat regulations.

The new policy has been extended to Oct. 31.

PHMSA took this action to minimize disruptions in the supply chain, noting that many companies who offer hazardous materials continue to experience difficulty in obtaining or providing recurrent training to their employees due to the changes in business practices that have resulted from the effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The previous policy was scheduled to expire June 24.

In its notice of extension, PHMSA reminds employers that hazmat regulations do not require training to be provided in a traditional classroom setting or through on-the-job training. The agency encourages employers to use alternate training methods to ensure hazmat employees are provided appropriate recurrent training even if testing is not possible.

“Any method of training delivery, including web-based, self-paced computer instruction, remotely delivered classroom instruction, on-the-job training or some combination of those methods that cover the required elements in 49 CFR 172 Subpart H are acceptable,” says William Schoonover, associate administrator for hazardous materials safety, in the notice.

The notice of this extension is limited to recurrent training requirements only that are found in 49 CFR 172.704(c)(2).

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