HAZWOPER Training is Not Optional When Dealing with Hazardous Waste Cleanup

HAZWOPER is an acronym that stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. The HAZWOPER standard applies to certain groups of employers and their employees that are exposed to hazardous materials and are involved in toxic cleanups, treatments, storage, and disposal.  It also involves workers that are involved with emergency response operation that deals with hazardous water and workers that perform duties at a waste site are expected to be fully HAZWOPER certified.

HAZWOPER training is needed for those who deal with a hazardous substance or situations such as:

  • High concentrations of toxic substances
  • Situation that is life of death threatening
  • Imminent Danger to life and Health environments
  • Situations that presents an oxygen deficient atmosphere
  • Condition that poses a fire or explosion hazard
  • Situation that required an evacuation of the area
  • A situation that requires immediate attention because of the danger posed to the employees in the area

There is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) HAZWOPER standard that covers employees and employer, but still need to take initial class. There are 24 and 40 hour classes and it depends on the person’s job type and experience to which one they need. After the initial training requirement has been completed, there is a HAZWOPER refresher course to make sure the workers are up to date on the training that needs to be taken every year after. The course is designed for professionals who plan to work at a HAZWOPER work site.

Luckily, the training is available online for the employees and employers sake. The training course uses a hands on simulator and is visually compelling. These courses will inform the employees how to deal with hazardous materials while meeting OSHA standards. The training can be completed at the students pace, with the maximum allowance of six months. Everything can be done online, and the OSHA Training Institute Education Center Program Certificate will be delivered though mail. There are even courses for HAZWOPER supervisors, ones for upgrades, and even meth decontamination specialist.


Sometimes workers are involved in a cleanup activity that did not originate from an emergency response, but it still can be considered a hazardous waste site cleanup operation under HAZWOPER if the site is the following: the site is listed or identified by a government agency as an uncontrolled hazardous waste site, it is listed on the National Priority List, Listed on a State Priority List, and is regulated as a corrective action covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Remember depending on the workers experience and job type the employee may only need 24 or 40 hours of training. This information can be found on OSHA’s site and can be found though the workers employer.