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Hazard Materials (HM) BASICS

The HM Compliance BASIC is based on the regulations that require motor carriers and drivers to properly transport their HM as outlined in 49 CFR 397 Transportation of Hazardous Materials and the HMR.

Transportation companies should educate their drivers about how to safely and lawfully transport HM and make sure drivers understand that any HM problems must be addressed proactively to prevent unsafe situations. This education should include how to properly package, mark, label, placard, and load HM as required in the FMCSRs and HMRs.

Motor carriers should answer drivers’ questions and direct them to the information they need, including FMCSA’s websites. Violations related to the HM Compliance BASIC and while hauling placardable quantities of HM adversely affect SMS results for 24 months. Time and/or inspections with no HM violations can improve motor carriers’ BASIC percentile ranks.

If you have questions regarding compliance, visit the “What can a motor carrier do to improve?” section of the SMS Information Center for answers to commonly asked questions about safety performance.

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