Since its beginning in 1985, the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST) has provided the service of certifying health, environmental, and safety technologists, technicians, supervisors, and workers. CCHEST is a division of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP).
The various certification programs offered through CCHEST include the following:
- Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST)
- Certified Loss Control Specialist (CLCS)
- Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST)
- Safety Trained Supervisor (STS)
OHST and CLCS Certification Programs
Individuals with the OHST or CLCS title are persons whose job description includes the performance of occupational health and safety activities on a full-time or part-time basis. These duties may be secondary to other job functions. Some examples of occupational health and safety activities include making assessments at the worksite concerning risks and possible hazards, investigating incidents, maintaining records regarding incidents, and preparing plans for emergency response.
OHST/CLCS candidates must spend at least 35% of their work hours in occupational health or safety. They must have duties requiring technical knowledge and skills related to occupational health or safety. In addition to having five years of experience in occupational health or safety, they must pass the CCHEST test for OHST/CLCS certification.
The computer-based OHST/CLCS examination is comprised of 200 questions, all multiple-choice. Some of these questions involve computations. The time allowed for the examination is four hours.
CHST Certification Program
Typical CHST candidates work as safety and health specialists on construction job sites, either full-time or part-time. Certain requirements in education and experience must be met before the candidate can sit for the CCHEST test. The computer-based, four-hour test has 200 multiple-choice questions in the following areas: Program Management (29%), Worksite Auditing (40%), Training (27%), and Professional Responsibility (4%).
STS Certification Program
The STS certification program is intended for individuals who are managers or first-line supervisors who have a safety responsibility for a work group. Safety Trained Supervisors are not safety specialists or safety practitioners; rather, their safety responsibility is an adjunct to their job duties. Typically, they work in a craft or trade, in leadership, supervision or management, or in a technical specialty. The STS safety responsibility is usually less than 33% of the total job duties. To be eligible to sit for the CCHEST STS examination, the candidate must be of good moral character and have two years of relevant work experience, along with one year of experience as a supervisor or safety leader of a work group. The computer-based, two-hour test has 100 multiple-choice questions.
CCHEST Exam Practice Questions
1. A contract must include requirements for the following safety provisions:
A. No safety provisions are required
B. The frequency of safety inspections must be noted
C. Compliance with existing laws and regulations must be specified
D. Responsibility for safety procedures must be delineated
2. In order to meet OSHA’s definition of imminent danger, a situation must meet what conditions?
A. Death or serious physical harm may result
B. Both short- and long-term exposures to hazardous substances will affect health and impair bodily functions
C. Routine investigations cannot adequately correct the situation
D. All of the above
3. When inspecting a worksite after a complaint, the CHST may inspect
A. Only the area covered by the complaint
B. Any areas where he or she has reason to believe violations may be occurring
C. Any areas where he or she sees a violation
D. All areas of the worksite
4. If an employer refuses to allow the CHST access to a facility or part of a facility, the CHST should
A. Demand access to all areas of the facility
B. Call local law enforcement agencies to remove the employer so the inspection can occur
C. Leave the area and report the incident to the Assistant Area Director
D. Try to make an appointment to return another day
5. A hazardous atmosphere has oxygen concentration levels
A. Below 15.5 percent or above 25.5 percent
B. Below 19.5 percent or above 23.5 percent
C. Below 10 percent or above 19.5 percent
D. Below 12.5 percent or above 20 percent
1. A: No safety information is required to be in the contract. However, many contractors choose to include information about safety inspections, safety meetings, accident investigation, and other safety policies and procedures. Even if the contract does not include any information about safety, all existing laws and regulations must be followed.
2. D: All of these conditions must apply for a situation to meet OSHA’s definition of imminent danger. In order to be protected by law, workers must ask the employer to correct the danger and must act in “good faith” when refusing to work. In addition, the conditions must be such that an objective third party would agree that the task represents imminent danger, and there must not be enough time to correct the problem through ordinary channels such as filing an OSHA complaint.
3. A: The CHST may inspect only the area covered by the complaint. In addition, the CHST must provide the employer with a copy of the complaint, if requested. The CHST also must tell the employer the nature and scope of the inspection.
4. C: The employer has the right to refuse the CHST access to the site. If denied access, the CHST should report the matter to the Assistant Area Director. The Assistant Area Director will pass the information on to a Regional Attorney who will decide whether to issue citations or pursue court action.
5. B: A hazardous atmosphere has oxygen levels below 19.5 percent or above 23.5 percent. Other types of hazardous atmospheres include flammable gases or vapors exceeding a 10 percent concentration of the lower flammable limit (LFL) or combustible dust higher than its LFL.