If you work with hazardous waste or other hazardous substances, you need to get HAZWOPER training. The type of training you need depends on your job role and the amount of hazard exposure.
General site workers, for example, must undergo a minimum of 40 hours of training. Supervisors and managers must also complete the same level of training plus eight hours.
What is HAZWOPER?
HAZWOPER, or Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, is training required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for anyone exposed to hazardous substances. It originated with the US military’s post-World War II program to dispose of contaminated waste from constructing the atomic bomb.
Depending on their job duties, some workers only need an eight-hour refresher course, while others require full OSHA training 40 hour. In addition, employers can stagger their team’s training to make it easier for them to get the necessary training at times that work best for them.
For example, some people prefer to learn on the job while others can study at home in their free time. This flexibility allows employers to meet their OSHA training requirements without forcing everyone to be confined in the classroom for long periods.
Job Roles That Commonly Require HAZWOPER Training
Whether you are applying for a job as a general site worker or a hazardous waste worker, there are specific HAZWOPER training courses that you need to complete. These training programs protect employees and help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses related to exposure to hazardous substances in their work environment.
Among the many types of workers needing HAZWOPER training are the following:
General Site Workers
These workers have various duties and tasks to complete on the job, from cleaning up and sanitizing areas to removing spilled chemicals from equipment. As a result, they typically have a lot of exposure to hazardous substances and are required to receive 40-hour HAZWOPER training to ensure they’re working safely and responsibly.
Depending on their jobs, these workers can meet their HAZWOPER training requirement by taking a 24-hour or 40-hour course. These courses are valid for a year, but OSHA recommends taking an 8-hour refresher course each year to keep your certification current.
Employees who don’t need HAZWOPER Training
Many workers don’t need to receive this type of training, but they’re required to have a valid HAZWOPER certificate to be employed in certain positions. For example, laboratory professionals who work with hazardous substances daily are exempt from the requirement to have this type of training.
If you need to be certified, talk with your employer. They should be able to answer any questions and let you know exactly which training you need.
What’s the Difference Between Online HAZWOPER Training and Other Training?
Online HAZWOPER training is a great way to learn about the hazards in your workplace and how to deal with them. It’s also convenient and flexible — you can take the course on your schedule, starting and stopping whenever you’re ready.
You’ll be able to ask questions throughout the course, and you’ll be able to access your instructor via email to help you with your answers. Moreover, the systems are affordable and accessible, making them ideal for most people.
How Much Does HAZWOPER Training Cost?
Generally, you can pay between $50 and $80 per hour for this training. But ultimately, it’s up to you and your company to determine the most cost-effective option for your business.
Each worker category has different requirements, but all require a HAZWOPER certificate.
Some jobs require more than just 24-hour HAZWOPER certification, such as emergency response. These positions require workers to undergo a specialized training that focuses on safety procedures and policies while carrying out specific response activities, such as plugging a chemical leak or decontaminating a contaminated site.
In addition to initial courses, HAZWOPER training also requires annual refresher courses that allow workers to update their skills and knowledge of safe work practices. This training is essential for preventing injury or illness from ongoing or recurring exposure to hazardous substances and materials. Therefore, it is recommended that all workers participate in annual refresher courses, even if they are not assigned to HAZWOPER training tasks.
Which HAZWOPER Should I Choose
Regardless of your specific work role, you need to get your hands on HAZWOPER training to stay safe. Handling toxic materials, oxygen-deficient environments, and potentially explosive substances are dangerous jobs requiring special training to protect you and others.
Online HAZWOPER courses allow you to choose the learning environment that best suits your unique learning style. For example, you can study in your own home office or public. In addition, you can take a break and return to your training sessions whenever necessary.
For employees, online training offers many benefits over classroom-based training. It can save you time and money on travel expenses, and you don’t have to commit a full day to train. Moreover, you can schedule training sessions on your terms and stagger the training to suit your team’s needs.
HAZWOPER training is important in protecting workers and the environment from these hazards. It ensures that the right information is provided to employees about the dangers of specific chemicals and their associated protective measures. It also provides workers with the knowledge necessary to work safely and avoid injury. In addition, the training covers the basics of OSHA’s regulations and gives workers the tools they need to protect themselves from hazardous chemicals in their workplaces.