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Hiring Hazmat Employees? Why You Need Background Checks
Foley
4 mins read

AUGUST 30, 2016 – When you’re in the business of hauling freight, who you hire for drivers is one of the most important decisions you can make. This is particularly essential when it comes to transporting hazardous materials – having reliable, trustworthy, well-vetted employees is not only essential for your company’s success, but it helps to ensure your key responsibilities as a carrier when it comes to compliance and public safety.

Know The Facts Before You Hire

One of the most tried and true ways to ensure that you’re making the best hiring decisions? Consistently running background checks – for every employee, no exceptions.

Why? Prior behavior is one of the best indicators of future behavior. It’s just human nature for people to fall into the same habits and repeat the same patterns over and over. Running thorough pre-employment screenings can help you to get a clearer, more comprehensive picture of the person you’re considering hiring.

For example: Do they have a background of risky behavior? Are there unexplained gaps in their resume or work history? Do they have any prior drug or alcohol violations?

As a business regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), you are required to obtain for every applicant (and, if they are hired, keep on file): motor vehicle records for every state they’ve held a license in for the past three years, as well as their safety performance history over that period; confirmation that they’ve completed a road test and a certified medical examination; and verification of whether they’ve had any previous drug or alcohol violations.

As a supplement to these mandatory checks, it’s in your best interest to perform numerous other searches and verifications, including (but not limited to) income, military service, the National Sex Offender registry, and county, state and federal criminal records databases.

An Indicator of TSA Endorsement

If your vehicles require placarding, every driver of those vehicles must receive a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This ultimately holds drivers up to an even more stringent standard than a traditional commercial driver’s license.

Performing a thorough background check can help you determine in advance whether a driver will qualify for that endorsement, or an upcoming Hazmat Endorsement renewal – potentially saving you time and resources on the application process. Among other criteria, the TSA requires fingerprinting, a background check, and proof of citizenship, naturalization or legal residence. The results are used to determine if the Hazmat Endorsement can be applied by the state DMV issuing the CDL HazMat Endorsement.

How Foley Can Help

To provide you with a clearer picture of your potential hire, our experts will run a comprehensive background check against the same TSA requirements and will provide you with the results (which you may not see otherwise).

Interested in learning more about the benefits of background checks? Call us at (860) 819-3974.

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Whether you’re looking for a quick background check, or a comprehensive DOT compliance solution, Foley can help.