What Is 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training & Why It’s Important?

40 hour HAZWOPER training

Did you know that more than 400 MILLION TONS of hazardous waste is produced worldwide each year, mostly by industrialized countries?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personnel engaged in clean-up, treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste must adhere to its Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Standards. One way of ensuring compliance with these standards is by taking specific training courses based on a worker's job type and experience.

OSHA's HAZWOPER regulations are codified in Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.120. Within HAZWOPER, there are 3 broad areas of training identified by the 3 sections of the HAZWOPER regulation – (e), (p), and (q).

  • Section (e) – General site clean-up
  • Section (p) – RCRA Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs)
  • Section (q) – Emergency response

Section (e) of the HAZWOPER regulation is further divided into several safety training courses: 40-Hour, 24-Hour, 8-Hour Refresher, and 8-Hour Supervisor Training. There is also a 24-hour RCRA TSDDF HAZWOPER training course and an 8-hour RCRA TSDF Refresher training course which falls under Section (p) HAZWOPER of the HAZWOPER regulation. These courses are designed to provide information and training to improve workplace safety and health and reduce workplace injuries and illnesses resulting from exposure to hazardous substances.

Of the various types of HAZWOPER training courses available we'll look specifically at the 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training Course to understand its value in the workplace.

Let's dig in!

What is the OSHA 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training?

OSHA 40 hour HAZWOPER training

OSHA 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training Certification is designed for general site workers covering 40 hours of workplace safety and health topics. The specific provisions for the 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training can be found in 29 CFR 1910.120(e). The goal of this course is to educate workers about subjects like hazardous chemicals and their properties, as well as the selection and use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

The 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training also provides workers with an in-depth knowledge of site characterization, decontamination methods, container handling, emergency response strategies, radiological hazards, and safe work practices while performing work operations at a contaminated site.

Of the various courses available under Section (e) of the HAZWOPER regulations, OSHA requires that each employee must receive a level of training appropriate for their job type and responsibilities.

General site workers engaged in the clean-up of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites must complete 40 hours of training off-site along with 3 additional days of supervised hands-on practical training sessions.

Along the same lines, supervisors must undergo the same amount of training as the workers they are moderating i.e. either 24- or 40-hour HAZWOPER training. Additionally, supervisors must also receive 8-hours of specialized managerial training.

OSHA regulations require that general site workers and supervisors must receive 8 hours of refresher training annually to maintain their initial 24- or 40-hour HAZWOPER certification.

The Difference Between the 24-Hour and the 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training Courses

the difference between 24 hour and 40 hour HAZWOPER training courses

Apart from the difference in time duration to complete the training course, the 24 Hour Course is designed for workers who are on-site for a specific limited task or a temporary assignment. These workers are unlikely to be exposed to hazardous substances at or above OSHA's permissible exposure limits (PELs) or published exposure limits, and therefore do not require respiratory protection.

On the other hand, OSHA 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training Certification pertains to general site workers engaged in work operations that could expose or potentially expose them to hazardous substances and health hazards at, or above, OSHA's PELs or Published Exposure Limits. Therefore, workers are required to use appropriate respiratory protection.

Who Needs OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training?

needs OSHA 40 hour HAZWOPER training

Ideally, the 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training is meant for workers who work at a site or facility where exposure to hazardous materials is prevalent. This includes workers engaged in clean-up and restoration of work sites contaminated with hazardous substances. For example, personnel who handle contaminated soil or groundwater, construction workers whose job tasks may involve potential exposure to toxic substances, etc.

The bottom line, from general onsite workers to management, anyone can benefit from the 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training.

Benefits of the 40-Hour HAZWOPER Online Training Course

benefits of 40 hour HAZWOPER online training course

Here are some benefits of the 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training that can be availed by management and employees alike, upon course completion:


The HAZWOPER training equips workers with the essential knowledge about hazardous substances and their properties, as well as methods to prevent and minimize the possibility of worker injuries, illnesses, and fatalities resulting from exposure to toxic substances. The diminished health and safety risks help promote a culture of safety and well-being at all levels of an organization.


The HAZWOPER course helps workers, supervisors, and managers ensure compliance with OSHA regulations and standards.

Awareness of Federal Safety

The knowledge acquired through this course makes workers aware of different federal safety as well as health regulations, thus minimizing the possibility of critical errors and mistakes.

Prevents Penalties

Ensuring compliance with OSHA standards through the HAZWOPER Training helps organizations and facilities avoid penalties and charges.

Saves Costs

Direct and indirect costs incurred from worker turnover and injuries are automatically minimized when workers are trained to handle hazardous waste safely and effectively.


With the HAZWOPER certification, workers get to enhance their marketability and add value to their candidature.

Cross Compatibility

The course is supported by multiple platforms like Android and iOS and can be taken on any device, the only requirement being a stable and fast internet connection.

On-the-go Learning

With the course divided into multiple modules, workers can do the training at their own pace and track their progress. Lessons can be started on one device and finished on another.

Final Thoughts

There's no doubt, that effective HAZWOPER training is crucial to the safety of workers engaged in operations and activities at a hazardous waste facility. With plenty of benefits, the 40-Hour HAZWOPER Course is of critical importance for these workers as it provides a wealth of information about essential safety and health topics and regulations to ensure a sound workplace for both employers and employees.

With that said, we offer comprehensive OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training with a Certification together with an OSHA HAZWOPER 24-Hour initial training course and an 8-Hour HAZWOPER Refresher course for workers.

Our courses are supported by multiple platforms like Android and iOS and can be taken on any device, the only requirement being a stable and fast internet connection. With the courses divided into multiple modules, workers can complete the training at their own pace and track their progress. Lessons can be started on one device and finished on another.

Our courses are meant for workers across several major industries and will satisfy all of your HAZWOPER training needs.

To enroll, get in touch with us and we'll help you pick the right course.


Published on: April 16, 2020