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Which HAZWOPER Training Best Suits You?

People in different occupations and jobs needing HAZWOPER training

The HAZWOPER Standard - Introduction

The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard, developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), sets guidelines for workers involved in the management and emergency response regarding hazardous waste. The standard further emphasizes appropriate HAZWOPER training of workers in order to minimize health and safety risks that could occur at the workplace, thereby ensuring the safety and good health of workers. 

Before engaging in hazardous waste operations and training workers, including employees, supervisors, and site managers, we need to answer the question – What is appropriate HAZWOPER training? This article provides a detailed answer to not only this question but endeavors to describe various types of HAZWOPER training required by diverse worker occupations. 

The HAZWOPER standard provides guidelines for workers involved in the clean-up of hazardous waste or the transfer, storage, and disposal operations of hazardous waste, and the emergency response procedures to be followed in case of hazardous waste and hazardous materials incidents. 

Hazardous Substances and Emergency Response in Accordance with OSHA

Various hazardous substances can cause different emergencies such as fires, explosions, air pollution, poisonous gas releases, etc. As such, responding to emergencies at hazardous waste sites and when working with hazardous materials or toxic chemicals often go hand in hand. 

Let’s understand the definition of hazardous substances and emergency situations as defined by OSHA’s HAZWOPER Standard before moving on with this article. 

What are Hazardous Substances? 

Substances that have adverse effects on health, or substances, when released into the environment, that could cause disease if ingested or inhaled by any person. A hazardous substance can not only cause severe diseases, behavioral abnormalities, and physiological malfunctions but can also be fatal. 

Let’s Define an Emergency Situation

Any situation that is injurious to health or deadly and requires an emergency response. Such situations include the following:

  • Release of toxic substances into the environment.
  • A situation causing oxygen deficiency in the environment.
  • A risk of ignition or explosion. 
  • A life-threatening situation such as electrocution requiring instant attention to rescue employees.

Keeping in mind the perils of hazardous wastes and emergency situations, regulatory bodies necessitate employers to train employees to protect worker health and ensure their safety at the workplace.

The Advantages of HAZWOPER Training for the Employers and Employees

The main benefits of HAZWOPER training are listed below.

  • As training is mandated by OSHA, the employer will be meeting the relevant regulatory requirements.
  • The employer will reduce the risk of fines and other penalties that may arise due to non-compliance with OSHA regulatory standards.
  • Offering HAZWOPER training to employees will reflect positively on employer responsibility and ensure the organization’s brand as a caring employer is maintained.
  • As hazardous substances can be life-threatening, proper training helps reduce workplace mishaps and accidents while making it easier for employees to handle emergencies and unexpected releases of hazardous substances.
  • HAZWOPER training provides employees with an opportunity to better understand their jobs, widen their knowledge base, and identify probable hazards and how to reduce or prevent them.

To learn about HAZWOPER training and its benefits in detail, read our article What is HAZWOPER Training and Who Needs It?

Jobs Requiring HAZWOPER Training 

People directly or indirectly exposed to hazardous waste or hazardous substances must comply with OSHA’s training requirements. There are different types of HAZAWOPER training for different exposure levels and jobs. Occupations requiring HAZWOPER training are listed below.

To know more about the levels of HAZWOPER training, you can read our article HAZWOPER Training Levels - Know the Basics.”

  • Equipment operators, general laborers, supervisors, and on-site managers of hazardous waste sites;
  • General site workers and specialists at treatment/storage/disposal (TSD) facilities;
  • Workers employed by environmental services companies;
  • Specialists and technicians working on hazardous waste sites or with hazardous substances;
  • Emergency responders;
  • Geophysical surveyors;
  • Supervisors and managers of emergency situations;
  • Medical personnel exposed to various diseases and contaminants;
  • Non-medical personnel working in hospitals and exposed to hazmat;
  • On-site workers exposed to at or above Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) levels developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH);
  • Work tasks with exposure to chemicals with a risk of explosion or fire;
  • Work tasks with exposure to poisonous substances;
  • Work tasks with exposure to an oxygen-deficient atmosphere i.e., air containing less than 19.5% oxygen;
  • People working in confined spaces – such as manholes, pipelines, vaults, underground storage, etc.; 
  • Working at underground sites with the possibility of hazardous gas exposure or low oxygen levels;
  • Work tasks carried out at sites exposed to contaminated soil or groundwater;
  • Subsurface investigators;
  • Workers exposed to hazardous materials or hazardous waste at construction sites; and
  • Work carried out at a site listed as hazardous by an official government agency.

A Training You Need!

HAZWOPER (e) series and (p) series training is required as per a worker’s job specification and the extent of worker exposure to hazardous substances. Let’s further analyze which job roles required which HAZWOPER training.

HAZWOPER (e) Series
Training Required Job Roles/Occupations Requiring HAZWOPER Training
OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training Underground tank cleaners
Contaminated soil removers or handlers
Groundwater handlers
Subsurface investigators
Workers exposed to HazMat at construction sites
Workers of TSD (treatment, storage, and disposal) facilities of hazardous waste or hazardous substances
Hazardous waste site clean-up crews
Lab technicians
Specialists working in proximity to hazardous waste or hazmat
OSHA 24-Hour HAZWOPER Training Groundwater monitors
Land surveyors
Geophysical surveyors
Equipment operators
HazMat delivery drivers
Project managers exposed to hazardous waste or hazardous substances
Environmentalists
HazMat technicians and specialists occasionally at hazardous waste sites
Workers such as electricians, plumbers, laborers, painters, maintenance personnel, etc., who visit hazardous waste sites for short-term work
OSHA 8-Hour HAZWOPER Refresher Training Workers initially certified with OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training and need to refresh their knowledge in compliance with OSHA annual training requirement
Workers initially certified with OSHA 24-Hour HAZWOPER Training and need to refresh their knowledge in compliance with OSHA annual training requirement
OSHA 8-Hour HAZWOPER Supervisor Training Managers and supervisors of workers who are directly or indirectly exposed to hazardous wastes and other hazardous substances.
This training is obtained in addition to OSHA 40-Hour or OSHA 24-Hour HAZWOPER Training (whichever is applicable to the managers and supervisor in accordance with the workers they are responsible for).
OSHA 8-Hour HAZWOPER Supervisor Refresher Training Managers and supervisors initially certified with OSHA 8-Hour HAZWOPER Supervisor Training
HAZWOPER (p) Series
Training Required Job Roles/Occupations Requiring HAZWOPER Training
OSHA 24-Hour HAZWOPER – RCRA TSD Operations Training Workers exposed to RCRA hazardous waste (F, K, P, U list wastes) in generally any industry
Workers exposed to RCRA hazardous waste (F, K, P, U list wastes) in the construction industry
Workers of TSD (treatment, storage, and disposal) facilities of RCRA hazardous waste (F, K, P, U list wastes)
OSHA 8-Hour HAZWOPER Annual Refresher – RCRA TSD Operations Training Workers initially certified with OSHA 24-Hour HAZWOPER – RCRA TSD Operations Training and required to refresh their knowledge in compliance with OSHA’s annual training requirements.

Get HAZWOPER Training with Electronic Certification and Wallet ID at Your Own Pace! 

You can now easily identify the HAZWOPER training you require according to the job you do. Are you looking for an OSHA-compliant HAZWOPER training provider? Register now for our HAZWOPER (e) series and HAZWOPER (p) series, the e-learning courses which will help you to learn at your own pace from home, work, or wherever you want. All you need is internet access on a PC, laptop, or mobile device of your choice. Once you complete the course, you will be awarded a certificate of completion and will also receive a Walled ID once you upload a passport-size photograph on our system.

We also offer group discounts for large organizations. Dial 866.429.6742 to speak to our customer services personnel or feel free to write to [email protected] for more details.


References:

NIOSH. (n.d.). Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Values. Website. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/default.html#:~:text=The%20Immediately%20dangerous%20to%20life,first%20developed%20in%20the%20mid%2D

OSHA. (n.d.). Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER). Website. https://www.osha.gov/emergency-preparedness/hazardous-waste-operations/standards

Published on: December 27, 2022