What is HAZWOPER Training and Who Needs It?
April 6, 2020
Safety is of utmost importance and is a major concern for companies that deal with hazardous waste operations.
Being exposed to harmful chemicals can be life-threatening. If not paid attention to, such exposures can result in the death of an employee and financial downpour for the company.
To this end, there are certain safety standards created for workers which, when followed, through a training program can help eliminate such perils.
What is HAZWOPER Training?
HAZWOPER, short for ‘Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response‘, is a set of safety standards designed by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
The HAZWOPER standard is primarily meant for employers and employees engaged in operations related to hazardous/dangerous waste. It specifically includes workers involved in emergency response operations for hazardous substance releases and cleaning up hazardous waste sites.
The HAZWOPER training teaches these workers the recommended measures they can take to remain safe while performing dangerous tasks.
The main objective of complying with OSHA standards is to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for the workers.
Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?
Safety is a crucial aspect for workers who deal with potentially hazardous substances. OSHA recommends HAZWOPER training for the following three categories of workers:
- Emergency Responders;
- Workers engaged in clean-up of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites; and
- Workers involved in operations at hazardous waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs).
Emergency Responders have different training requirements than those of general site workers and TSDF workers, as they are called upon to stabilize an emergency.
General site workers are those who enter uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, contaminated with harmful chemicals, to perform clean-up activities.
On the other hand, TSDF workers are stationed at a controlled waste facility that receives harmful waste from uncontrolled sites for treatment, storage, or disposal.
All in all, remember that HAZWOPER training is a must-have for any worker who is prone to places characterized by:
- High concentrations of poisonous substances, such as nuclear plants;
- A fire or explosion hazard;
- Below-average oxygen levels;
- Hazardous atmospheres; or
- Confined spaces.
Great! Now that you know the basics of HAZWOPER training, let’s learn what benefits you and your employees can gain after taking a dedicated HAZWOPER training course.
Benefits of HAZWOPER Training
There are plenty of advantages to undergoing HAZWOPER training certification. Here are some worth knowing:
Trains Employees for any Life-threatening Situation
In case of a catastrophic disaster, panic can make things worse at a worksite. Not knowing what and what not to do can cost employees their lives.
When it comes to working in areas exposed to hazardous waste, there is a high possibility of a chemical spill or a reaction between incompatible chemicals happening at some point in time.
To deal with such events, essential knowledge is required as it can help employees make the move to safety as quickly as possible.
HAZWOPER training does not only train employees to move to safety but also to respond effectively to such events.
The HAZWOPER training equips employees with the key skills to tackle such emergencies that could occur anytime and anywhere. It enables them to understand risks, take precautions, and follow best practices when necessary.
Ensures Safety of Employees
The HAZWOPER training not only prepares employees for emergencies but also ensures the safety of all those involved.
This training helps employees identify risks and follow safe work practices. During work, this knowledge can help them recognize critical threats early on and save those around them.
Ensuring the safety of others as well as their own, employees can help make the workplace a more secure and comfortable place to work in. This can in turn make other employees feel confident about going to work at such a facility.
Avoid Penalty Charges
Did you know, companies that aren’t compliant with OSHA standards run the risk of getting penalized?
In case of an employee fatality at a worksite, an absence of HAZWOPER certification can result in hefty charges for your company.
However, having workers trained under the HAZWOPER training program automatically fulfill compliance with OSHA’s safety standards and easily eliminates the risk of getting penalized.
Makes Employees More Valuable
Above all, completing the HAZWOPER training course not only ensures a safe workplace for employees but also makes them an important part of the company.
The HAZWOPER course also benefits employers as many individual workers prefer OSHA-certified workplaces.
The key skills and salary growth gained by taking the HAZWOPER training makes employees much more valuable to any organization.
Builds Critical Thinking Skills
As the HAZWOPER training course teaches your employees how and when to act, it significantly builds up their critical thinking skills.
Such an important life skill harnesses a person’s problem-solving capabilities and can make them more alert and active during work.
Gives Employees a Better Understanding of Their Job
Knowing what happens and why it happens can give employees a better idea of how things work.
The crucial knowledge about chemicals and their impact can enhance employees’ knowledge about their job, making them smarter and cooperative at work.
As you can now relate, there are plenty of benefits the HAZWOPER training brings to the table.
Not only does it make employees more alert and proactive when dealing with hazardous waste materials, but it also makes employees knowledgeable, and the workplace safer.
With that said, if you haven’t already certified yourself to OSHA’s safety standards, we have plenty of HAZWOPER-OSHA courses to get you started.
Have questions? Feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll help you out!