HAZWOPER work can be some of the most hazardous work employees will face
We provide the only HAZWOPER Hands-on Simulator® in the industry. The simulator has gained OSHA acceptance when used with site-specific training.
HAZWOPER's provisions require facilities to consider both overall performance and specific elements when complying with the standard. HAZWOPER is referred to as a performance-oriented standard, which allows employers the flexibility to develop a safety and health program suitable for their particular facility. The standard offers work practice guidelines to protect employees from potential risks, but also has specific requirements. In evaluating compliance with 29 CFR 1910.120, Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO's) shall consider both the specific requirements and whether the intent of the standard has been met.
The most important aspect of HAZWOPER 40 paragraph (q) is planning for emergencies through the development of an emergency response plan and/or an emergency action plan.
When reviewing an emergency response plan, the CSHO must evaluate the employer's ability to contain, control, and cleanup hazardous substance(s) if an emergency were to occur.
If a facility does not have an emergency response plan or an emergency action plan, the employer must prove that the chemicals and the quantities used in the facility will not develop into an emergency incident if released in a (reasonably predictable) worse-case scenario. In other words, if there is a potential for an emergency, the employer must plan for it, and if there is no potential then the employer does not fall within the scope of HAZWOPER. (See Appendix E of this instruction for guidance on releases that require an emergency response.) Although HAZWOPER 40 may not apply, incidental chemical releases are still covered by the Hazard Communication standard, 1910.1200 and 1926.59. Check what, if any, written procedures exist in the employer's written hazard communication program for handling incidental releases.
Paragraph (q) of HAZWOPER lists seven emergency responder categories, which include five principal training levels (first responder awareness level, first responder operations level, hazardous materials technician, hazardous materials specialists, and on-scene incident commander), skilled support personnel, and specialist employees. Employees responding to emergencies at different levels in the command structure are required by the OSHA HAZWOPER standard to have specific training that is intended to ensure that emergency responders are properly trained and equipped to perform their assigned tasks.
OSHA Instruction "OSHA Responses to Significant Events of Potentially Catastrophic Consequences," offers guidance and procedures that will apply to many inspections covered under this instruction. Prior to inspection of any emergency response, or in a routine review of the emergency response provisions of HAZWOPER, compliance staff are advised to review both this instruction and OSHA HAZWOPER guidance documents to ensure the safety and health of CSHO's and employees and to provide consistent and uniform application of OSHA HAZWOPER policy.
HAZWOPER certification and re-certification
HAZWOPER certification can be done by completing either the 40 or 24 hour HAZWOPER course. These are widely considered to be the initial courses for HAZWOPER certification. Annual refresher must then be taken to maintain the certification. The OSHA HAZWOPER refresher certification course is widely known as the HAZWOPER 8 hour annual refresher. Employers and instructors have dual responsibility to make sure the student is certified.
The basic steps for determining necessary HAZWOPER training and PPE include:
1) The employer determines the HAZWOPER responder's expected role in a reasonably anticipated worst-case scenario.
2) The employer conducts a hazard assessment to identify any anticipated hazards associated with the HAZWOPER responder's role during such a response.
3) The employer develops an Emergency Response Plan that spells out how the HAZWOPER responders will be prepared to safely perform their anticipated roles. The plan should indicate the level of training that the HAZWOPER responders should receive and the type of PPE that will be provided to those responders.
A summary of OSHA's Recommendations for HAZWOPER Training and PPE, both PPE and respiratory protection are prescribed for hazardous environments by the HAZWOPER standard, which requires an SCBA respirator and Level A or Level B PPE, as defined by Appendix B of the HAZWOPER standard.
HAZWOPER paragraph (q) outlines requirements for advance planning, training, medical monitoring and PPE for emergency responders. Several specific categories of emergency response personnel are defined in this paragraph, including first responder awareness level and first responder operations level. OSHA's compliance directive for paragraph (q) specifically includes "emergency medical services" responding to a hazardous substance release area.
OSHA has clarified that the HAZWOPER standard only applies to emergency releases, or substantial threats of releases, of hazardous substances. HAZWOPER does not necessarily apply to every incident in which an individual requiring medical treatment is contaminated with [a] hazardous substance. OSHA cannot require HAZWOPER training for incidents outside the scope of the standard, although such training may be beneficial. The scope of the HAZWOPER standard does not cover "incidental releases," releases that are limited in quantity and pose no emergency or significant threat to the safety and health of workers in the immediate vicinity.
HAZWOPER and HAZMAT
HAZWOPER and HAZMAT are sometimes used together to describe emergency response, clean up, or work at U.S. EPA permitted facilities.
In simple terms, HAZWOPER training is for emergency response, clean up or storing treating or disposing of hazardous materials/waste. HAZMAT is a term used for the transporation of hazardous materials/waste.