A HAZMAT test follows a class that is 4 to over 40 hours long and measures knowledge in recognizing, working with or cleaning up hazardous materials. The tests vary depending on job duties and may also measure such special knowledge as hearing conservation, spatial awareness and back safety.
Because most dangerous items are gases or liquids, HAZMAT training spends a lot of time teaching how to recognize and respond to dangerous situations. Also taught is how to properly respond to different types of gas or liquid spills to limit exposure to the general public and the environment. Solid items such as asbestos have special handling procedures, as do solids that can potentially catch on fire or explode.
HAZMAT certification is required in some fields such as transportation. For other jobs, certification is not required but is recommended because of the potential for occasional exposures.
Accredited courses are available locally in places such as schools, colleges, community centers or not-for-profit organizations. The cheaper option is to take classes online, which also gives students the advantage of working at their own pace. Some courses require a webcam or one-on-one training sessions prior to testing.
Refresher classes may need to be taken every 12 months depending on the type of certification held, but are available online.