Why Take the HAZMAT Test?

In order to work around dangerous goods, you’ll need to obtain a certification that proves you have the knowledge and experience to work around these hazardous materials. This HAZMAT certification can only be obtained by enrolling in a class that will teach you these things and will then test you about what you learned in that class. Some classes are just 4 hours in length, while others take 40+ hours to complete.

Why take the HAZMAT test? For some, it is mandatory so they can earn a paycheck. For others, taking this test is more about being safer at home or at work.

What Does the HAZMAT Test Do? 

As with any certification test, the HAZMAT test will determine your level of knowledge when it comes to recognizing, working with, or cleaning up hazardous materials. You will be taught in class what defines a hazardous item, what you should do to protect yourself around them, and the procedures required to properly clean up a spill of a hazardous item.

Most dangerous goods are either in liquid or in gas form. Because of this, an extensive amount of time is spent in teaching you how to recognize a dangerous situation. You’ll also be taught how to properly respond to various types of liquid or gas spills so that the exposure to the general public and the environment can be limited. If you take a supervisor course, you’ll also cover how to manage direct reports throughout each stage of the process.

Not every HAZMAT item is a liquid or a gas, however, and these solid items also have special handling procedures. Perhaps the most dangerous sold item of all is asbestos.

Did You Know That Some Solids Are Flammable, Making Them a HAZMAT Item?

Asbestos is extremely dangerous because breathing in its fibers is proven to cause cancer, sometimes decades after the exposure. Other solid items are HAZMAT because they have the ability to catch on fire or even potentially explode. Items like explosives that have been desensitized, solids that react negatively to oxygen exposure, and items that combust when friction is applied are all considered a hazardous item.

By taking the HAZMAT test, you’ll be able to recognize the seven generic categories of flammable solids that exist. You’ll also be able to recognize dangerous substances when they are present at a worksite or in your home, know how to properly respond to any dangerous situation that may be present, and then be able to seal up or remove the dangerous item in the safest manner possible.

Should you be taking the HAZMAT test? You should be if your job duties involve working with hazardous items or chemicals. Even if you only have a brief contact with hazardous materials each day, it is still a good idea to enroll into at least a basic class so that you are empowered with the knowledge you need.

Where should you take this test? How can you take it? The chances are good that there’s a center near you or an online course that will provide you with the HAZMAT test you need.

How To Take the HAZMAT Test

Are you ready to get your HAZMAT training our of the way? By taking the HAZMAT test, you’ll be certified by an accredited program to be around hazardous materials. For some jobs, especially positions that are in the field of transportation, this certification is mandatory. For other jobs, being able to pass this test isn’t required to keep the position, but is still considered a best practice because of the potential exposures that may happen infrequently.

The easiest way to take the HAZMAT test is to enroll into an accredited course and then take the test on the final day or after the end of the day of training.

There’s Two Basic Ways To Take the HAZMAT Test

Most people who need to take the HAZMAT test have never been certified in the handling and care of hazardous goods before. For these folks, there are two basic options to obtain the needed certification:

  • Through a course offered locally. Almost all communities have at least one certified training agency that will conduct the needed course and test to obtain a HAZMAT certification. It may be at a local school, college, community center, or even at a local not-for-profit organization. You will often need to pay a fee for the course and you may need to pay a fee to the sponsoring institution as well.
  • Through an online course. There are several online courses that will give you a HAZMAT test for certification after you have gone through all of the materials that are in their program. The advantage to an online program is that some allow you to work at your own pace, meaning you won’t need to spend 40 hours of class time going through materials. Other courses may require a webcam or one-on-one training sessions before the test will be administered. Most online courses are cheaper than classroom courses and many are internationally recognized.

If you do not pass the HAZMAT test, it is a standard procedure to require you to go through the entire course once again. This would mean needing to pay for a second training course. Knowing what will be on the test ahead of time, however, can give you a bit of an advantage.

Have You Already Successfully Passed Your HAZMAT Test?

For those who already have their HAZMAT certification, the process of taking the test is a little different. In order to renew their certification, they will need to take a refresher course and be able to pass the test that is administered after this class. Refresher classes are often taken online rather than in the classroom because it is usually just a review of known materials. Refreshers may need to be taken every 12 months depending on the hazardous materials certification that is held.

Sometimes HAZMAT training includes other specialties that are required for the completion of job duties. This may include such things as hearing conservation, spatial awareness, and back safety. Each speciality certification that would go along with your overall HAZMAT certification requires an additional course and an additional test to pass.

Are you concerned that you may not be able to pass a HAZMAT test, even if you have an informative course? Would you like to study up on the test right now? Our helpful guide will give you a glimpse of what your test might look like. Check it out here.