Working with hazardous waste creates job site safety issues is workers don’t fully understand what to do. However, training to understand the basics of working around this waste reduces the risks of workplace incidents. Training for a HAZWOPER certificate ensures you meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and maintain safety standards. Even those not directly related to hazardous waste industries, such as emergency responders, often require this training to keep themselves and others around them safe. A HAZWOPER certificate verifies the completion of this type of safety training course.
WHAT IS HAZWOPER TRAINING?
HAZWOPER is an acronym for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training. A certificate in this field meets the requirements set by OSHA for training. HAZWOPER training teaches workers what to do if they need to handle exposure to waste in their daily work or in unintentional incidents.
Not everyone needs the same type of training. For example, some people only need eight-hour refresher courses whereas others require 24 hours or 40 hours for a certificate.
Therefore, each individual may need to take a different course, depending on their role in a company’s safety and how often they work with hazardous waste. However, those who do not receive a certificate in HAZWOPER training may not work with hazardous waste, according to OSHA 1910.120(e)(6). Additionally, each worker who must have HAZWOPER training will also need eight hours of refresher information annually.
WHO NEEDS HAZARDOUS WASTE OPERATIONS TRAINING?
OSHA requires several groups to have a certificate showing HAZWOPER training, including:
- Emergency responders
- Uncontrolled hazardous waste site operators
- Hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility personnel
- Safety managers
Generally, anyone covered by the HAZWOPER requirements for training – both employers and employees – should take one of several HAZWOPER courses, based on their work. Those who work full time at a hazardous waste site need 40 hours of training, while part-time or occasional site workers need 24 hours of training.
1. HAZWOPER Train the Trainer
The HAZWOPER Train the Trainer course includes information for safety professionals to become trainers and teach HAZWOPER to others. The training includes the off-site educational portion required by OSHA. However, the student will need to have additional in-field training on their own.
Within this 40-hour training, students take 18 courses either online or in the classroom. After taking this course, going through the required experiential training and receiving a written certificate, students can become trainers for others who need to get their HAZWOPER certificates.
2. HAZWOPER Specialist (HZS)
The HAZWOPER Specialist (HZS) course covers what a supervisor or incident commander needs to know about emergency responses to hazardous waste incidents. They support the hazardous materials response technicians on the scene.
In this 13-hour course, students can earn 1.3 continuing education units (CEUs). We are accredited by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to offer these CEUs for our HAZWOPER courses.
This course focuses mainly on planning for emergencies by helping students understand the standards requiring a contingency plan and site safety and health plan. It augments information learned in other HAZWOPER courses for those who manage others at a hazardous waste site.
At the end of the course, students take an online test. To receive a certificate for HAZWOPER Specialist, students must show mastery by scoring at least 80% on one of two attempts at the exam.
3. HAZMAT Emergency Response Operations Level Training
First responders at the operations level require eight hours of HAZWOPER training. This type of training serves those who react defensively to a hazardous material situation. However, they do not actively try to stop the leak or clean up the material. Their role in the process is to remain at a safe distance from the hazardous waste release, prevent the release from spreading and prevent exposure to others.
The HAZMAT Emergency Response Operations Level course lasts eight hours and has 0.8 CEUs. During this time, students learn to be defensive and safe in an emergency. OSHA requires this level of HAZWOPER training to teach basic hazardous materials terms, risk assessment methods and how to choose and put on appropriate PPE. Students should learn to control or contain the situation to their required ability and understand basic decontamination.
Students who work through this online course need to pass an exam at the end with at least 80% correct. They will have two chances to pass the test. After three years, students need to recertify with a refresher course and test.