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Get insight into what you need to stay on top of your certifications.

Outside of certain aviation-related training, the U.S. Department of Transportation “does not designate sources of training, nor certify training courses, instructors and/or schools,” says Susan A. Hand, a public affairs specialist at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a division of the DOT.

Companies such as BASF, a multinational chemicals manufacturing corporation based in Germany, focus first on hazmat training, says Michael Vogt, Americas asset optimization and supply chain manager for chemical catalysts at BASF, referring to the handling of hazardous materials.

“Everyone handling, transporting or completing paperwork involving hazardous materials must complete training with U.S. DOT-approved materials,” Vogt says. “The training is critical to the safety of themselves as well as the people around them—including emergency first responders and the general public.”

But it’s not just people who directly handle hazardous materials or the emergency responders who need training, Vogt says.

“At minimum, every BASF employee goes through Responsible Care awareness training,” he says. The global initiative, which aims to improve performance and educate employees, is an example of a company making sure all employees, from the lowest level to top-tier executives, have the necessary safety knowledge and training. For smaller companies that don’t have the support and resources of a global corporation like BASF, there are a number of third-party programs, schools and online resources.

“Everyone handling, transporting or completing paperwork involving hazardous materials must complete training with U.S. DOT-approved materials.”
Michael Vogt
Americas Asset Optimization and Supply Chain Manager, BASF

With that in mind, here is our crash course on three of the most important training courses and certifications you should know:

1. GHS

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a universally recognized training initiative that, among other things, centers on educating relevant professionals and providing the necessary criteria for classifying chemicals based on health, physical and environmental hazards.

The training should be completed by people directly involved in handling, transporting, testing or manipulating hazardous chemicals. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently incorporated GHS into its revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), so make sure to visit the OSHA website for updated requirements and regulations.

2. Certified Safety Professionals

Certified Safety Professionals (CSP) is an internationally accredited training program for professionals who perform “at least 50 percent of professional-level safety duties.” These may include assessing risk and potential hazards on a worksite, managing safety training and investigating incidents.

To pursue CSP training, a candidate must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in any field or an associate degree in safety, health, the environment or another closely related field
  • Four years of professional safety experience in which safety is at least 50 percent of the position’s responsibilities
  • At least one credential approved by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, such as Associate Safety Professional (ASP), Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
  • A passing score on the CSP examination

3. Hazmat

“Any industry with employees—or a person who is self-employed—who directly affect hazmat transportation safety should consider hazmat training and education a top priority,” says the DOT’s Hand. Hazmat training, she says, is essential for employees with any of the following responsibilities:

  • Loading, unloading or handling hazardous materials
  • Representing packaging as qualified for use in transporting hazardous materials (including designing, manufacturing, fabricating, inspecting, testing, reconditioning, repairing, modifying and marking packages)
  • Preparing hazardous materials for transportation
  • Overseeing the safety of transporting hazardous materials
  • Operating a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials

Hazmat School offers a number of online safety courses developed with Safety Compliance Management and centered on hazardous waste and materials. The school has more than 7,000 students a year taking courses ranging from hazmat safety to emergency response—all of which comply with DOT, OSHA and Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Choose the Right Safety Training for Your Company

Although choosing from, and eventually taking, the variety of training courses available can be daunting, doing so is essential for all employees of companies of all sizes. It can often mean the difference between accident and catastrophe.

“So many of the incidents reported to PHMSA are a result of human error,” Hand says. “They may have been prevented or mitigated through proper training.” 

What training or certification classes have you taken?

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I have taken OSHA 30 hour for general industry, and A Basic Life Support, (B.L.S.), trainer Course. I can now train CPR AED First Aid


Thanks for the tip about taking a safety training course from a certified safety professional. It would make sense to find someone who is qualified and experienced in order to help you out. You probably even want to talk with their past clients in order to know how qualified they are. http://www.eagleminesafety.com/


I have been working in the H.S.E industry for over two decades in various capacities. Am a holder of a BBA and MAS degree in Management here in the U.S.A. In 2014 I acquired the OSHA 10 and 30 certifications and also an OSHA 501 General Industry Trainer.
I will like to embellish my portfolio with the three relevant training to become a C.S.P What is the best way forward and the associated cost? am resident in Dallas, TX


First, I want to thank you for stopping by MSC’s Better MRO website and for your question.

It is great that you want to add a Certified Safety Professional certificate to your existing education endeavors. As you may know to obtain your CSP there are certain preexisting qualification you must meet. I would encourage you to review those requirements at the website for the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, www.bcsp.org/CSP. Here it will explain the requirements in order for you to qualify to take the test for the exam.
There are other places like local colleges and universities that can help you prepare for the exam. I did a quick search in the Dallas, TX area and found that the University of Texas at Arlington offers a CSP Examination Preparation Workshop. I am sure there are many more options out there including online programs.
I hope this has been of some help.

Thanks again for connecting with MSC’s Better MRO.

Paul Cook, QSSP
Safety Specialist
MSC Industrial Direct


Thanks for sharing this amazing blog. this is very helpful for us. keep doing and keep sharing.https://www.goldhaber.com/


I would like to know what courses do you offer in Namibia for Safety Officer in Aviation Industry?


hello, i don't have any college degree's but i do have is 13 years exp. in constuction as a foreman/superintendent/safety coordinator. i have Osha 30, Osha 500-510.i would like to add the CSP to my Porfolio and to make me a better safety coordinator. will i qualify?


need to add CSP to my resume. Have OSHA 30 and 510. What do I need  and where do I get it?


Hello, I am new to the H.S.E. field. I was Promoted to the role of EHS Coordinator at a Ragu Sauce facility in Owensboro Kentucky less than a year ago. I have an electrical engineering degree and I am also a certified electrician and a four year veteran from United States Navy where I held the title of Master-At-Arms (Military Police Officer). I also plan to enroll in the fall for an H.S.E related degree program from Eastern Kentucky University. I have been with the company for ten years and have learned nearly every manufacturing position in the plant. They took a chance on me when they offered me the position. I would really love to prove them right. I have taken a couple of training courses one being the OSHA 30 and the other was a competent persons training. I would love to take some more courses but being new to the field and COVID 19 really making it hard to take in person training. I have a real Thirst for knowledge. I would appreciate any advice and direction you could give me until I can enroll in school.


I am looking for a legit training course to be certified as a Safety Professional. Is our course a accredited way to gain this certification?


Hi Sarah - What is the name of the course you're looking into taking?


I am looking to become certified in saftey for a commercial hvac company. is this a good way to get certified?


Best to check what the Safety requirements are for the HVAC company to ensure the course will fufill all the criteria. 


 I have an 15yrs extensive experience in Health Safety and Environmental position,took OSHA 30 hours Course, Certified Safety Auditor in the Philippines. How can I become a Certified Safety Professional here in US, Beaumont Texas to be exact


I would like to become a certified professional safety trainer


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