Policies and Training

Hazmat Transportation Security: Does Your Company Need a Plan?

It’s not often that security pros think about hazardous materials (hazmat). But if your organization offers or transports certain hazmat, you may be required to develop and implement a Hazardous Materials Transportation Security Plan. In addition, Security Plan training is required for each hazmat employee whose employer is required to have a Security Plan. Let’s take a look at this onerous requirement and some guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Hazmat truck

pixeldigits / E+ / Getty Images

Trigger Materials

The applicable hazmat materials and quantities that trigger the requirement for a Security Plan can be found at 49 CFR 172.800. For some hazmat, the requirement is triggered by “any” quantity being transported. For others, the requirement is triggered by “large bulk quantities.” A large bulk quantity is greater than 6,614 pounds (3,000 kilograms) for solids or 792 gallons (3,000 liters) for liquids and gases in a single packaging, such as a cargo tank motor vehicle, portable tank, tank car, or other bulk container.

Note: There are additional security plan requirements for rail carriers.

Plan Contents

The Security Plan must include an assessment of possible transportation security risks for hazmat shipments. The plan must also include site-specific or location-specific risks associated with facilities at which the hazardous materials are prepared for transportation, stored, or unloaded incidental to movement, and appropriate measures to address the assessed risks. Specific measures put into place by the plan may vary commensurate with the level of threat at a particular time.


In addition to the security awareness training requirement applicable to all new and existing hazmat employees who handle hazmat, in-depth security training is required for each hazmat employee whose employer is required to have a Security Plan. Employers must conduct in-depth security training concerning the plan and its implementation for each employee who:

  • Performs a regulated function related to the hazmat covered by the plan; and/or
  • Is responsible for implementing the plan.

Let’s take a look at some scenarios and see if the requirements in these particular situations can be mitigated.

Scenario 1: Unloading

In this situation, the company does not offer for transport or act as carrier of Class 3 (flammable liquids), Packing Group (PG) II hazmat in quantities that would require a security plan. However, the company’s employees unload the materials while the carrier is present. Do they need a Security Plan?

Yes. If the Class 3, PG II material is unloaded from a bulk package in the presence of the carrier, the requirement to develop and implement a transportation Security Plan applies.

Solution: Tell your employees to “Back away from the truck!” If the private carrier has left your unloading area or the common or contract carrier has left your property, the requirement to develop and implement a transportation Security Plan would not apply. The requirement to develop and implement a Security Plan applies to persons who offer for transportation or transport applicable hazmat. Regulations at 49 CFR 171.8 defines “transportation/transport” as the movement of property and loading, unloading, or storage incidental to that movement. However, hazardous materials that are unloaded from a transport vehicle or bulk packaging following delivery of a shipment by the carrier are not considered to be in transportation in commerce and are not subject to the requirements of the hazmat regulations, if:

  • They are unloaded by your own employees following the departure of the carrier’s personnel, or
  • In the event a private carrier is used, that carrier has departed the unloading area.

Check Monday’s Total Security Daily Advisor for two more scenarios that describe whether a Security Plan is required.