HAZMAT Training

Who Needs To Have HAZMAT Training?

You’re sitting in your office and you notice that there’s a strange chemical smell coming from your desk. Maybe you work as a janitor and you’ve noticed that there is a strange label on the box of supplies that you’ve never seen before. Or maybe you’re a driver who has a big opportunity to earn some more money, but you’ve been asked to get an endorsement for your license.

What do all of these situations have in common? The need to have HAZMAT training.

Everyone Benefits From HAZMAT Training!

Why go through the expense and effort of HAZMAT training, even if your direct job responsibilities don’t require it? Simple – better safety. A hazardous materials emergency can occur at any time and if you aren’t properly trained in how to respond, then there’s a greater potential for trouble. In some HAZMAT situations, seconds literally count!

What if there was a propane leak at your office? Would you be able to recognize the signs and signals? Or what about a carbon monoxide leak? How would you respond to a chemical spill because Fred three cubicles down managed to dump his desk disinfectant all over your clothing? Even just a basic HAZMAT certification will help you be able to effectively answer these questions. That way you’ll always have a chance to be safe or keep others safe!

For Some, HAZMAT Certification Is Mandatory

If you work with hazardous materials every day, then in many communities it becomes a requirement to hold a certification in this area. This may include jobs that involve using cleaning supplies, may be exposed to leaks or fumes, or involve the loading and unloading of materials that are classified as hazardous.

For those who transport hazardous materials, an endorsement is required in many communities on the driver’s license that is issued. This is in addition to other certifications that may be required to handle a product, clean it up, or limit exposures to it. Supervisors who may have direct reports involved with HAZMAT items must also usually undergo training and if you are considered a first responder, you’ll need a specific type of certification as well.

Do You Need HAZMAT Training?

If you’re asking yourself this question, then the odds are good that you will need at least a basic training certification in hazardous materials. If your duties involve pushing paperwork around an office and there are no chemicals used in the cleaning of your office or workstation, then you may not need any training whatsoever beyond keeping your common sense about you.

HAZMAT items can cause a lot of damage to people, animals, and environments if left unchecked. If there is any risk of exposure to these items, it is a good idea to get some form of training or certification so that you can know how to properly respond. When there’s an emergency situation, do you want to be left guessing?

What Is Involved in HAZMAT Training?

The level of involvement to a HAZMAT training course depends on the type of certification that is being pursued. For most people, the typical training course will involve 40+ hours of classroom study of information and then testing on that information. For other specific forms of HAZMAT training, however, there may be scenarios practiced, roleplaying situations, and even interview techniques discussed during the training.

How can you know what you’re going to face? Let’s take a look at what today’s HAZMAT training courses offer!

Standard HAZMAT training involves classroom settings, small group discussions, and lecture format information. Most people can obtain their HAZMAT certification by passing an informationally-based test that reflects what was taught to them over the course of the class. Because of this, there are several opportunities to obtain this certification in an online setting at home. You will need to study the rules and regulations regarding hazardous substances and be able to communicate on the test that you understand what is required of you.

First responders are taught how to properly react to a HAZMAT emergency. If you’re obtaining certification in first response, then you will also be taught how to properly protect yourself from a dangerous substance. This may include:

  • putting on personal protective equipment [PPE],
  • learning what substances can counteract a hazardous substance, and
  • how to control a crowd to prevent more exposures than necessary.

Some first responders are also taught how to administer first aid and/or CPR depending on the emergencies for which they are planning. They will also get a chance to practice applying these new skills in real-life situations.

Supervisors are taught how to properly manage a situation. If you’re taking a supervisory HAZMAT course, then you can expect to see some roleplaying scenarios happen within the classroom setting that will help you handle a difficult situation. You might practice on you would respond to a non-responsive direct report, learn basic crowd control techniques, or take a look at how to handle priorities during an emergency situation.

Specialized courses provide other circumstances that are substance-specific. If you are taking a course to obtain certification in a HAZMAT speciality, then you can expect to receive specialized training that is reflective of that specific substance. For acids, you would learn how to negate the acidity to prevent further injury to human tissue, animals, or the environment. For asbestos, you would learn how to recognize this substance and how to properly seal it off to limit exposure to the general public. You would likely practice these skills in the classroom environment as well.

Knowing what to expect during a HAZMAT training course can help you be able to understand more of the expectations a trainer will place on you. Knowing the emphasis of a class will also give you insight into what you can expect to see on the final test.

Keep on reading for more info on HAZMAT certification here.