When the Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed in 1970, OSHA imposed specific obligations and requirements on businesses to protect the well-being, health, and safety of employees. One of these requirements is HAZWOPER training, which is based on the standard enacted by OSHA in 1990. HAZWOPER certification is essential for businesses and employees dealing with the transportation and handling of hazardous materials. It is acquired after completing an educational course, which is structured to keep employees safe.
Many individuals are at risk of exposure or coming in contact with hazardous substances, especially when those are improperly disposed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to reduce that risk through their implementation of high-quality safety procedures for certain substances. A HAZWOPER certified safety professional complies with the OSHA to responsibly handle potentially dangerous materials.
Industrial incidents like the Valley of the Drums and Love Canal resulted in the creation of legislation for specific community response and waste management. OSHA found the need to ensure and provide protection for workers by developing HAZWOPER according to the existing guidance from the Department of Defense, and with further input from the US Coast Guard, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. It is one of the important safety certificates for individuals who interact or work with hazardous materials. HAZWOPER certification shows that your employees and your organization are responsible for the handling and disposal of dangerous substances to protect everyone in the community. It provides specialized training and education on specific hazardous materials, which are commonly used in agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries.
It is important to note that HAZWOPER certification is a health and safety standard to train workers on safety. Thus, it is not meant to train employees on certain technical response activities like spill remediation or plugging chemical leaks.
To be certified, employees must take and pass the one-time safety course that covers all OSHA-recommended HAZWOPER procedures. The length of the course may vary according to certain factors, such as the kind of hazardous waste the business or employee handles, the amount of exposure to those hazardous materials, and the previous safety experience of the employee.
During training, employees will learn the best practices and safety standards. They are also required to show their ability to do their duties on the job according to the safety requirements of the certificate. The initial certification is valid only for a year, so if an employee wants to remain a certified safety professional, they must complete a short refresher session every year.
According to OSHA, you will need the HAZWOPER certificate if:
Those are just some of the situations that will require a certified safety professional to work. Consider checking with OSHA to learn more about the most up-to-date requirements for your industry or business to ensure that you and your team are compliant with the latest regulations and standards.
It should not be difficult to meet the training requirements of OSHA to obtain HAZWOPER certification. Just be sure that you are enrolling your employees in an OSHA-compliant HAZWOPER course here at Impact Safety. We’re the one-stop safety source that every business in all fields and industries can rely on when they are looking to create a compliant and safe work environment and reduce risk.
Impact Safety offers a range of HAZWOPER training courses, such as the 8-hour Awareness program, a 40-hour course for HAZWOPER technicians, a 24-hour course for HAZWOPER operations, and an eight-hour refresher course.