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Q: What is HAZWOPER?

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) program was created to protect workers at hazardous sites and during hazardous conditions. HAZWOPER generally refers to the act of handling, packaging, storing and transportation of hazardous materials. OSHA designed these extensive regulations to ensure safety and health when followed correctly. Every one of our courses complies with OSHA regulations. 

Q: Who is covered in OSHA’s HAZWOPER Standard?

HAZWOPER applies to five groups of employers and their employees. This includes any employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances -- including hazardous waste -- and who are engaged in one of the following operations as specified by 1910.120(a)(1)(i-v) and 1926.65(a)(1)(i-v):

  • 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;
  • 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 body as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites;
  • operations involving hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities regulated by Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA, or by agencies under agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA regulations; and
  • emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard.

Q: Which course do I take?

You should take a HAZWOPER 40- hour course if you are at a high risk of prolonged exposure of hazardous waste. High risk jobs may include but are limited to, equipment operators, general laborers, supervisors, and other on-site management, supervisors and general personnel.

Take a 24-hour HAZWOPER if you are only on a hazardous waste site occasionally to do limited tasks and stays within the permissible exposure limit. For instance, this can include material technicians and specialists and on- scene incident commanders.

Which ever course is for you, you will have to take an 8-hour HAZWOPER refresher course each year to maintain a certification.

Q: Which Substances Qualify as Hazardous?

According to OSHA's HAZWOPER standard, hazardous substances include hazardous waste and other substances that can cause adverse effects to your safety and health. More specifically, they include:

  • Substances defined under section 101(14) of CERCLA
  • Biologic and disease-causing agents
  • Hazardous substances the U.S. Department of Transportation lists under 49 CFR 172.101
  • Wastes or combinations of wastes defined in 40 CFR 261.3
  • Substances defined as hazardous wastes in 49 CFR 171.8

Additional information about HAZWOPER training requirements are outlined in OSHA Standard 29 CFR Part 1910.120.

Q: How long is the 40-hour certification good for?

Once you have completed the HAZWOPER 40 hour your certification will remain with you for a year. After you’ll have to take the 8- Hour HAZWOPER Refresher.

Q: What if refresher training isn't received in 12 months?

If the date for refresher training has lapsed, the need to repeat initial training must be determined based on the employee's familiarity with safety and health procedures used on site. The employee should take the next available refresher training course. "There should be a record in the employee's file indicating why the training has been delayed and when the training will be completed."