What is HAZWOPER?
HAZWOPER is an acronym for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. It refers to five types of hazardous waste operations conducted in the United States under OSHA Standard 1910.120 "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response." The standard contains the safety requirements employers must meet in order to conduct these operations.
The HAZWOPER standard covers 5 specific areas of operations, including:
- Clean-up operations required by a governmental body, whether Federal, state local or other involving hazardous substances that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites (including, but not limited to, the EPA's National Priorities List of sites (NPL), state priority site lists, sites recommended for the EPA NPL, and initial investigations of government identified sites which are conducted before the presence or absence of hazardous substances has been ascertained).
- Corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq).
- Voluntary clean-up operations at sites recognized by Federal, state, local or other governmental bodies as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
- Operations involving hazardous waste that are conducted at treatment, storage, disposal (TSD) facilities regulated by 40 CFR Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA; or by agencies under agreement with U.S.E.P.A. to implement RCRA regulations
- Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances without regard to the location of the hazard.
Hazardous wastes are defined by the standard as:
[A] A waste or combination of wastes as defined in 40 CFR 261.3,or
[B] Those substances defined as hazardous wastes in 49 CFR 171.8.
Levels of Training:
OSHA recognizes several levels of training, based on the work the employee will be performing and the level of hazard they will be facing. Each level requires a different training program, and OSHA specifies topics and minimum training times.
- General site workers initially require 40 hours of instruction, 3 days of supervised hands on training, and 8 hours of refresher training annually
- Workers limited to a specific task or workers on fully characterized sites with no hazards above acceptable levels require 24 hours of initial training, 1 day supervised hands on training, and 8 hours of refresher training annually
- Managers and supervisors require the same level of training as the people they supervise, plus 8 additional hours of training
- Workers who are working at a Treatment, Storage, or Disposal facility that handles RCRA wastes require 24 hours of initial training and 8 hours of refresher training annually
- First Responder Awareness level require sufficient training to demonstrate competency in their assigned duties
- First Responder Operations level Awareness level training plus 8 hours training
- Hazardous Materials Technician 24 hours training plus additional training to achieve competency in several areas
- Hazardous Materials Specialist 24 hours training at the technician level, plus additional training to achieve competency in several areas
- On Scene Incident commander 24 hours training plus additional training to achieve competency in several areas
The training is what makes HAZWOPER unique. In some instances the training levels may or may not overlap in other cases these are prohibited by OSHA because workers without specific training may be able to characterize waste unless trained to do that task.[ The Site Safety Supervisor or Officer should be consulted and a competent industrial hygienist or other technically qualified person who is HAZWOPER trained.
PumpMan Technicians have completed the 40 Hour - Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, (HAZWOPER), Training.