HAZWOPER training is mandatory and saves lives. OSHA issued the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standards, 29 CFR 1910.120 and 29 CFR 1926.65, to protect workers and enable them to handle hazardous substances safely and effectively. The HAZWOPER standard for the construction industry (29 CFR 1926.65) is identical to general industry one (29 CFR 1910.120).
The HAZWOPER standard applies to employers and employees performing the following general categories of work operations:
- Hazardous waste site cleanup operations
- Operations involving hazardous waste that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities, and
- Emergency response operations involving hazardous substance releases.
The HAZWOPER standard provides employers, emergency response workers, and other workers potentially exposed to hazardous substances information and training criteria to improve workplace safety and health, and reduce workplace injuries and illnesses that could occur from exposures to hazardous substances.
As per OSHA standard, every person who enters a site that potentially has hazardous substances or atmosphere present has to complete training, based on their role and level of exposure:
General site employees (e.g., equipment operators, general laborers, etc.):
Employees occasionally on site for a limited task (e.g., groundwater monitoring, land surveying, etc.) with minimal exposure
Employees regularly on site who are not exposed to health hazards