We interact with chemicals every day. Some are harmless. Others need to be avoided at all costs.
It’s knowing this difference intrinsically that we get resources like dot hazmat certification and hazardous materials training. Today’s world is dangerous enough as it is, so there’s no reason to take second chances with elements that can cause burns, fevers and even cancer. When you apply to work either with or around chemicals you apply to step near danger each and every day. Mitigating this risk is as simple as being honest about what you’re up against and using every resource in your arsenal to keep you and others safe. What should you expect from your dot hazmat certification?
Let’s take a look at what, exactly, constitutes working with hazardous wastes.
Where would we be without the daily efforts of hazmat workers, disposal experts and street sweepers? It’s thanks to this hard work we can live a life free of concern about contact with harsh chemicals. This hard work comes with a lot of study and caution, however, and it’s common knowledge that anything could go wrong from the slightest bit of oversight. Today’s hazardous material removal workers make a median annual salary of $40,000.
There are an estimated three billion tons of hazardous materials shipped back and forth every year. The Department Of Transportation has had to break down hazardous cargo into nine different classes depending on danger, function and distance. The most valued commodity shipped in the United States are electronics, accounting for a stunning $1,600 billion, and the highest weight of commodoties are natural gas and asphalt. What other hazardous materials do we see ourselves managing?
Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, are among the most transported hazardous materials in the United States. They total over 85% by value, 85% by weight and an impressive 65% by ton-miles. It’s thought around 11 billion tons of freight are shipped across more than 250 billion miles across the country by trucks alone. In fact, the vast majority of daily hazmat shipments are done by truck. Not only will your dot hazmat certification further your knowledge about harmful chemicals, it will will also expand your required training for shipping and driving.
Today Texas is the biggest oil producing state in the country. Back in 2016 they produced a stunning 1,175 million barrels, accounting for over 45% of the oil production in the United States. Hazmat workers are constantly having their work cut out for them, as there’s always another product to package, distribute, drive, ship and unload. Most hazmat workers will complete up to 40 hours of their training as mandated by OSHA, though some are still required to have state specific licenses that may or may not require additional lessons.
Hazardous materials only need a minor slip-up or oversight to cause serious harm. At the very best people can end up sick or burned, putting them out of work for days and affecting everyone else down the line. At the very worst people can die. When you apply for a dot hazmat certification you’re doing what’s necessary to make sure these worst-case scenarios never come to be. With billions of tons of hazardous materials moving back and forth, it’s up to the everyday workers to remain the buffer between better and worse.
From learning what is considered a confined space to refreshing your license, there’s always more that can be done.