For those who work with hazardous substances on a regular basis, it is important to receive the proper training, from OSHA confined space training to DOT hazmat certification. Working with hazardous and hazmat materials can be a lucrative career – hazmat workers make an average of over $40,000 every year – but it is crucial for such employees to understand the risks of the position and know how to handle a dangerous situation safely. OSHA confined space training is only one component in a rigorous training, up to 40 hours of OSHA training in order to be certified to work as a hazmat worker.
DOT hazmat certification alongside other training requirements is particularly important for those that work in the field of transporting hazardous materials. This is a booming industry that requires a high volume of certified employees – every year, more than 3 billion tons of hazardous materials are shipped around the United States alone, and nearly 95% of these shipments are made by truck. For the truck drivers and those that manage these materials that are shipped, it’s important that they are educated not only about the materials and what they are, but also in how to handle them at all times. For instance, the Department of Transportation classifies hazardous materials into nine different classes. It’s important that those employees who handle them know how to classify them, as different restrictions and information comes with each of the different classes. Different certification, like OSHA confined space training, may be required depending on the class of hazardous material that the material being shipped falls into. Requirements for handling hazardous waste are almost always required, for example, but OSHA confined space training may not be applicable to every assignment and situation.
The transport of hazardous materials is more common than we may think. After all, natural gas is considered to be a hazardous material, and it is a material that is one of the most transported in the United States. It is considered to be hazardous because of its high degree of flammability, and so those who transport it must take the required precautions.
No matter what hazardous material is being transported, it is important for its transporters to have the proper training as well as the required certification. This training helps to keep not only those who work with hazardous materials safe, but the rest of us safe and protected from potential disaster as well.