Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program announces upcoming classes

Published: August 15, 2019

The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program has announced they will be hosting four of their 40-hr Chemical Emergence Response class in October and during the first quarter of next year.

The classes are to be held Oct. 20-25; Jan. 12-17; Feb. 2-7 and Mar. 15-20, 2020 at the Val Jahnke Training Facility located at 8030 Braniff St., Houston, TX 77061. All classes are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a Sunday evening orientation at 5:30 p.m. the evening before each class starts. This class should only be taken every three years. Please do not register if you’ve done so in the past three years as space is limited.

The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program was originally funded in 1990 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to provide hazardous materials training for rail workers. Since that time, over 27,000 workers have participated in NIEHS-funded training courses that address requirements of OSHA 1910.120 and DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR, Part 172, Subpart H). In 2008 the program received additional funding from the US Department of Transportation to conduct Hazardous Material Instructor Training courses.

The funding provides the following student expenses: travel, lodging and meals. In addition, an incentive of $175.00 per day is available to all training participants of these programs, except those who are able to secure regular pay through their employer, or are paid union officers.

Generally, rail workers do not have the same access to quality hazmat and/or basic safety and health training as workers in many other industries. Both FRA and OSHA share jurisdiction in regulating worker safety and health conditions on railroad property. This joint jurisdiction has generally not been integrated into employer-provided training for rail workers, leaving the majority largely untrained or undertrained to safely perform hazmat-related functions consistent with the requirements set forth by OSHA and DOT. This target population of approximately 150,000 conductors, engineers, brakemen, switchmen, carmen, signalmen, laborers, boilermakers, dispatchers, and maintenance of way workers is represented by the nine rail union affiliates of this cooperative effort

The goal of this training initiative is to provide rail workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to protect themselves, the community, and the environment in a hazardous materials transportation emergency. To achieve this goal, the Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program provides rail workers, through quality hazardous materials training courses, the confidence in their knowledge and problem-solving skills to enable them to make the change for safer work conditions.

Much of the training is provided by peer instructors who are full-time rail workers — members and/or local officers of affiliated rail unions.

Click here to register.