Hazwoper Training – Confusing Requirements Puzzle Workers

GHS Placard recognition is an important part of HAZWOPER training standards

HAZWOPER Training- An Overview

The OSHA Hazwoper Standard 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response Standard, has been on the books for many years (since 1990 in fact).  Even today, the training requirements are confusing and it’s hard to identify who needs it and what type of training they need.  With this blog post we hope to help you identify what you, as an employee, need to meet your training requirements.

Under the OSHA Standard 1910.120 (e) are the basic Hazwoper training requirements. The standard starts out with (e)(1)(i), indicating that all employees working on a site (such as equipment operators, general laborers,etc.) who are exposed to hazardous substances, health hazards, or safety hazards, along with their supervisors and management responsible for the site, shall receive training.

In order to meet the requirements stated in this section, they must receive such training before they are permitted to engage in hazardous waste operations that could expose them to hazardous substances.  The paragraph also mandates review training, which employees and managers may need to undergo to still be eligible to complete work that is needed for employment.

The 1910.120 (e)(3) discusses initial training for employees.  Each job type requires different levels of training, ranging from the bare minimum to hours upon hours of training and refresher courses. The various Hazwoper training requirements are outlined below:

  • Hazardous Substance Removal: minimum 40 hours off-site instruction, 3 days field experience under supervision
  • Specific Limited Task: minimum 24 hours off-site instruction, 1 day field experience under supervision
  • Management/Supervisory: minimum 40 hours off-site instruction, 3 days field experience under supervision
  • Treatment, Storage, and Disposal (TSD) Facilities: minimum 24 hours off-site

All positions trained in this manner, as listed under section (e)(8) of OSHA 1910.120, must undergo 8 hours of refresher training annually, covering initial training as well as those items outlined in paragraph (e)(2) and (e)(4) of the OSHA standards. For full rulings, please read the full OSHA Hazwoper training standards document.

The next area of this Standard located in 1910.120 (q)(6) indicates that training shall be based on the duties and function to be performed by each responder of an emergency response organization.  This area is broken down into four separate levels as follows:

  • First Responder Awareness level- individuals who are unlikely to witness or discover hazardous substance released and who have been trained to initiate an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of the release.
  • First Responder Operations level- individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to a site for the purpose of protecting nearby person, property, or the environment from the effects of this release
  • Hazardous Material Technicians- individuals who respond to a release or potential release for the purpose of stopping said release
  • Hazardous Materials Specialists- individuals who respond with and provide support to Hazardous Material Technicians

The specific training for each of these levels can be found in the Standard and have numerous variables on the levels of training for each individual.  However, it is required that every one of these employees do receive the refresher training.  They shall receive the annual refresher training of sufficient content and duration to maintain their competencies or shall demonstrate competencies in those areas at least yearly.( Wow understand now?)

OSHA Pros can help with all levels of this training for any employee of your facility.  OSHA Pros provides online safety training for the 8-Hour Refresher, 24-Hour, 40-Hour, and the different levels for the first responder certifications.  OSHA Pros has also made a special agreement that college credit can be earned while taking the 40-Hour Hazwoper course through them.  Please refer to www.osha-pros.com and click on the Hazwoper section or call toll free 1-866-442-6742 and ask for Jenny who can help with all of your questions.