Many construction professions recognize the need for certification to identify competency in their respective fields. The Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) is recognized as having met the professional challenge of illustrating competency through education and/or training, experience, and examination (CHST, 2016).
Safety issues on construction sites have become more complex and today’s safety professionals must be continually better qualified. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) credential holders are among the most highly trained, educated, and experienced individuals in the safety field. In general, those who hold a BCSP credential are more likely to be hired, earn higher salaries, and receive more promotions and leadership assignments than their peers who do not hold the certification (CHST, 2016).
BENEFITS OF CERTIFICATION
Benefits of certification include hiring preferences and salary increases, enhanced self-esteem, and personal satisfaction. It allows you to share your knowledge in professional practice and creates an edge over your peers for safety positions and assignments.
In New York City, to obtain a Site Safety Coordinator Certificate, one avenue available is to meet the following qualifications: “have an active Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) designation from the Board of Certified Safety professions (BCSP) and two (2) years of experience supervising the construction or demolition of major buildings” (“NYC Site Safety” n.d.). Examples like this are becoming more commonplace in the construction industry.
In occupational safety and health, standards terms such as “certified,” “competent”, or “qualified” are often used, meaning that these individuals have had special training. An employer may assign them as being qualified to perform specific duties. (OSHA, n.d.)
The basic requirements for obtaining a CHST certification are as follows: A high school diploma or GED and 3 years of construction experience where at least 35 percent of primary job duties involve safety and health. The application fee is $140 and the examination fee is $300. The BCSP maintains a current list of 57 study references to assist in preparing for the examination (CHST, 2016).
One of the most challenging elements in preparing for the examination is obtaining the reference material and committing it to memory, at least long enough to take and pass the exam. There is not a high probability of success of being able to read all the references from the list and retain the required information for this 200-question exam.
10-WEEK COURSE AT CSU
Columbia Southern University (CSU) has developed a self-paced, 10-week course which provides students with an overview of the BCSP examination blueprint. The course provides examples of all four CHST examination domains: program management (52 percent), worksite auditing (19 percent), training (21 percent), and professional responsibility (8 percent).
Along with sample questions, the students receive a calculator review to assist in problem solving math calculations. The questions have been developed to allow you to concentrate on areas that have historically been presented on the test. There is no extraneous or nice-to-know information in this course. All of the information is important. Concentration on the areas emphasized should allow you to be able to reduce your research/study time considerably.
The questions presented are representative of the questions you will see on the actual examination. Many questions will require additional study; however, do not stray too far from the subject or you will lose the direction the course attempts to provide.
Remember the questions presented are tough, but the actual test is also extremely difficult. Upon successful completion of the course, students also receive an additional downloadable workbook in a PDF format that can be used to continue study efforts before attempting the examination.
A course facilitator is available to answer questions and provide guidance during the course. The course has some very beneficial side effects. You will find that the learning process will make you a better and more proficient health and safety practitioner. ■
CHST, Complete guide [Brochure]. (2016) Indianapolis, Indiana: BCSP
NYC Site Safety Coordinator Certification. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/industry/site-safety-coordinator-certification.page
OSHA Construction Industry Training Requirements. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from www.oshatraining.com/osha-construction-industry-training-requirements.php
For More Information
One of the nation’s pioneer online universities, Columbia Southern University was established in 1993 to provide an alternative to the traditional university experience. CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and certificates in industries such as business administration, criminal justice, fire administration, and occupational safety and health. Visit www.columbiasouthern.edu/chst, or call 800.313.1992 to learn more.
Modern Contractor Solutions, August 2017
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