The Different HAZWOPER Regulations You Need To Know
HAZWOPER or Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response are OSHA guidelines that protect workers who are exposed to dangerous materials on the job. According to its compliance regulations, personnel who are involved in the storage, treatment, cleanup and disposal of hazardous substances are entitled to HAZWOPER training Unless an employer can prove that the operations do not expose workers to harmful substances, the rules apply to their business. Some of the operations that are susceptible to these regulations include:
- Cleanup operations that are supervised by a government authority or are voluntary which are responsible for the removal of uncontrolled hazards on the job.
- Operations that deal with hazardous waste treatment, disposal and storage
- Any sites that are covered by RCRA or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and require cleanup of hazardous material.
What is a Hazard?According to HAZWOPER, a hazard applies to any response activity where there are uncontrolled hazardous substances or where their release is imminent. Some of the emergencies that are covered by the standard include:
- Threat of fatalities or serious injuries
- Situations pertaining to an oxygen deprived environment
- High concentrations of toxic substances
HAZWOPER training requirements for on-site workersUtility workers who have to work in hazardous waste sites that have not been characterized but which are contaminated are protected by HAZWOPER. As per regulations, the workers have to work under a supervisor and with a site safety plan in place. The plan should be created as per standard to be applicable. If on the other hand, site characterization shows that the area is free of potential danger or hazardous material, a lower degree of PPE and training may be acceptable. If the site the personnel are working in will not result in potential exposure and the work assignments will not create a harmful environment, site activities can be carried out as normal.
HAZWOPER training programsHAZWOPER training programs are divided into 24 and 40 hour modules and each covers various aspects of operations dealing with hazardous waste. This is importance since HAZWOPER training needs to be relevant to various aspects of hazardous waste operations. The 24 hour training program is suitable for personnel who are engaged in field operations such as supervisors. Individuals who complete the course will be able to:
- Determine toxicology principles
- Describe medical concerns for working in confined areas
- Identify hazardous materials
- Describe various considerations in emergencies.
- Determine different types of radiation
- Describe basic hazards of radiation
- Determine the use of different respiratory equipment
- Understand and explain decontaminating principles.
- Determine air monitoring methods