A lot of questions can arise from Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Standards. Understanding them can mean being a company that promotes a safe workplace for your employees, including preventing injuries and fatalities.
HAZWOPER is a standard produced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which regulates hazardous waste operations and emergency services.
Does the HAZWOPER standard apply to you?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the HAZWOPER standard applies to five distinct groups of employers and their employees. This includes any employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances, including hazardous waste.
These five HAZWOPER standards presented by OSHA are:
1910.120(a)(1)(i) Cleanup operations required by a governmental body, whether Federal, state local or other involving hazardous substances that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites;
1910.120(a)(1)(ii) Corrective actions involving cleanup operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976;
1910.120(a)(1)(iii) Voluntary cleanup operations at sites recognized by Federal, state, local or other governmental bodies as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites;
1910.120(a)(1)(iv) Operations involving hazardous waste that are conducted at treatment, storage, disposal (TSD) facilities regulated by 40 CFR Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA; or by agencies under agreement with EPA to implement RCRA regulations; and
1910.120(a)(1)(v) Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances without regard to the location of the hazard.
What are hazardous substances?
A hazardous substance can be in the form of either a health hazard or physical hazard.
A health hazard is one that can cause serious damage to the body like acute toxicity, skin corrosion, irritation, sensitization, carcinogenicity, organ toxicity, or aspiration hazard. Physical hazards on the other hand are things like explosives, oxidizers, corrosives, or reactants.
How do I keep my workplace safe from hazardous substances?
OSHA requires HAZWOPER training to all employees working with hazardous substances removal or other activities that may potentially harm an employee. The employer must guarantee that the training provider covers all the areas required by the standard. Certification should be issued to the students that they have passed the training.
HAZWOPER online training may vary from 8, 24 or 40 hour online course work. With HAZWOPER training, OSHA regulations and requirements are met and learned. Employees will also understand site characterization and be able to identify the toxicology principles and their impacts.
It is better to have all the bases covered when it comes to handling hazardous substances. Get yourself and your employees trained with all the tools to handle HAZWOPER standards.