HAZWOPER Basic Training
Understand injury and fatality prevention tactics related to hazardous waste.
Enacted by OSHA in 1990, HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, and its certification is covered under OSHA standard 29 CFR Part 1910.120. It was designed to keep workers safe during response operations. If you are a chemical response worker, HAZWOPER standard requires that you are trained to perform all your job duties without putting yourself or your coworkers in danger. You achieve HAZWOPER certification upon completion of 24-hour or 40-hour HAZWOPER training.
Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?
OSHA HAZWOPER training was designed to reduce the risk of hazardous material exposure for workers who clean up, treat, store, and dispose of it.
OSHA specifies HAZWOPER training requirements for the following job profiles (and their supervisors):
- Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (TSDF) Personnel who handle hazardous waste during treatment, storage, and disposal. This occurs at facilities regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
- Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Site Operators involved in characterization, cleanup and remediation at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. These can be stabilized emergency sites OR older sites where potential contamination has been discovered. These operations include:
- Cleanup required by a governmental body
- Voluntary cleanup at sites recognized by a governmental body
- Corrective actions involving cleanup at sites covered by RCRA
- Emergency Responders in charge of containing, controlling, and stabilizing an emergency involving hazardous materials. They may be working at the site of an accidental release of hazardous substances or at a site with a serious threat of accidental release. Examples include:
- Local fire departments who might have to respond to chemical fires or overturned HazMat trucks
- Facility workers dealing with an uncontrolled leak or spill
- Railroad emergency response teams presented with a ruptured tank car
But HAZWOPER training can also reduce the dangers to workers in any of the following hazardous working conditions:
- High concentrations of toxic substances, in any context
- Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) environments
- Conditions that pose the risk of a fire or explosion
- Oxygen-deficient atmospheres
HAZWOPER construction training is designed to address these exact hazards, and they can occur outside of regulated HAZWOPER jobs.
Additionally, if you've never taken OSHA HAZWOPER training before, or if your training has seriously lapsed, you need to take one of two initial courses. The course you need is dictated by your potential exposure.
Does HAZWOPER Training Cover GHS Hazard Communication?
As of 2013, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) was modified to align with the United Nations (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
The new requirements include standards classifying health, physical, and environmental hazards. Plus, the GHS stipulates exactly what information you need to include on the labels for hazardous chemicals and safety data sheets.
To help you better understand the changes, as well as the new HAZWOPER training requirements, OSHA requires that you complete GHS Hazard Communication training. And since these new requirements apply for anyone handling hazardous waste, our OSHA HAZWOPER training courses include a module that reviews the GHS Hazard Communication.
Who Should Take HAZWOPER 40-Hour Training?
Workers need the 40-hour HAZWOPER training course if they are at the highest risk.
HAZWOPER 40 is the right course for you if you'll:
- Work with and clean up hazardous materials regularly
- Be involved in the storage and treatment of hazardous substances
- Have exposure at or above PELs
- Work in environments where you'll need respirators and other PPE for more than 30 days a year
- Supervise employees who do any of the above
Who Should Take HAZWOPER 24-Hour Training?
Workers who will have minimal contact with hazardous materials need the 24-hour HAZWOPER course.
HAZWOPER 24 is the right course for you if you'll:
- Come into contact with hazardous materials occasionally but won't be directly involved in cleanup or handling
- Work at contaminated sites with exposure below Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
- Carry out remediation at fully characterized sites requiring respirators and personal protective equipment (PPE) for less than 30 days a year
- Supervise employees who do any of the above, but not employees who need the 40-hour course.
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