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Is Becoming a Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) Worth It?


In the high-risk world of construction, safety is a paramount concern and talent to support these efforts is needed more than ever. The Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) certification is a prestigious credential that can significantly boost your career prospects. If you're a safety professional looking to enhance your career and play a pivotal role in preventing construction-related illnesses and injuries, the CHST certification is a pathway to success.

What is the CHST Certification?

The CHST certification is awarded by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) to individuals who demonstrate competency in health and safety activities intended to safeguard against construction-related health issues and injuries. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, BCSP is a non-profit organization renowned for its high-quality, accredited credentialing for safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) professionals. Since its establishment in 1969, BCSP has awarded over 68,000 certifications, including CSP, SMS, ASP, OHST, CHST, STS, STSC, and CET.


Benefits of CHST Certification

Whether you want to secure a new role, advance within your existing organization, or venture into private practice, the CHST certification could hold the key to accelerating your career growth.

The CHST certification not only recognizes your commitment and competency in construction health and safety but also opens doors to career growth. Some key benefits include:

  • Recognition: Gain acknowledgment from fellow safety practitioners and employers for your professionalism and expertise.

  • Career Advancement: Enhance your chances of securing leadership roles, improved responsibilities, and higher pay.

  • Improved Safety: Contribute to reducing incidents and losses, fostering a safer work environment, and enhancing company image.

  • Competitive Edge: Stand out in a competitive job market and demonstrate your dedication to preventing construction-related illnesses and injuries.


CHST Certification Process

The journey involves several stages:

  1. Assessing Eligibility: Candidates must have three years of experience, with at least 35% of their primary job duties focusing on safety, health, and environmental practices related to the construction industry. There is no educational requirement.

  2. Passing the Exam: Candidates must pass the CHST examination within a year of submitting their application to take the test. Application and examination fees total several hundred dollars, and the exam time is 4 hours. The computer-based exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, and results are provided immediately after completion.

  3. Maintaining Certification: After meeting all requirements and passing the exam, you'll receive the CHST credential. To maintain certification, pay annual renewal fees and earn 20 recertification points every five years to stay up to date with evolving professional practices.


Preparing for Success

There are various ways to prepare for the CHST examination, such as individual study (using study guides, practices tests, and other resources), informal study groups, and formal review courses offered by BCSP and third-party education companies. Exam content is split into four domains:

  1. Hazard Identification and Control

  2. Emergency Preparedness and Fire Prevention

  3. Safety Program Development and Implementation

  4. Leadership, Communication, and Training

The exam questions are designed to assess your skills and knowledge related to topics like managing construction sites, training on OSHA regulations, conducting worksite audits, and addressing ethical and legal concerns related to worker health and safety.


Making the Decision to Get Credentialed

Earning the CHST certification is an investment in your professional future. It's a testament to your commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy environment within the construction industry.

There are other valuable credentials that can enhance your career, including the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential, which is discussed in a related article.