The Hazardous Materials BASIC

Nov 2, 2022 3:05:08 PM / Written by: Mike Riegel

The Hazardous Materials Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers with a similar number of safety events (i.e., inspections, violations, or crashes). This is used to determine a carrier's CSA score.


What is the Hazardous Materials BASIC?

The Hazardous Materials BASIC is one of the enforced areas of the FMCSA's BASIC categories. These violations are tied to the driver's safety and caution while hauling hazardous materials on public roadways.

There are 369 sections in the FMCSA CFR that relate to hazardous materials. These include areas such as "driver not in possession of training certificate" all the way up to "radioactive contamination exceeds limits".

Getting violations in this FMCSA BASIC category can lead to DOT audits and other penalties by the FMCSA.

BIT Air Scales for your csa score


What are the Hazardous Materials groups?

Hazardous material violations are broken into 9 different groups. These groups help determine the severity of the infraction as it relates to safety. Items such as "driver not in possession of training certificate" is less severe while items like "radioactive contamination exceeds limits" are the most severe.

Violation Group Severity Weight
Cargo Protection - HM 4
Documentation - HM 3
Fire Hazard - HM 6
HM Other 2
HM Route 1
Load Securement - HM 10
Markings - HM 5
Package Integrity - HM 8
Package Testing - HM 7


Top 7 most issued Hazardous Materials violations

Below are the top 7 most issued hazardous materials violations issued across the country for 2021. This gives some indication into what the DOT finds most important in terms of hazardous materials.


Violation Count
Package not secure in vehicle 81
No or improper shipping papers (carrier) 48
Shipping paper accessibility 46
Placard damaged, deteriorated, or obscured 45
No placards/markings when required 43
Vehicle not placarded as required 41
Accepting or Transporting Hazardous Materials not prepared in accordance with regulations 30
Maintenance/accessibility of Emergency Response information 27
Prohibited placarding 26
Offer or transport without emergency response information 25


If you are ever wrongfully issued a violation keep all of your documentation and fill out a DataQ to have the violation reviewed by the FMCSA

To see the full list of hazardous material violations that make up the hazardous materials basic you can download here.


Topics: Safety, Fines, FMCSA, DOT

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