HAZWOPER is an acronym for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. 

HAZWOPER training is required, according to OSHA, to five groups of employers and their employees and includes any employees who are exposed to hazardous substances or materials and are involved in the clean-up, treatment, storage and disposale of hazardous waste.

Any employee who may be called to respond to an emergency with hazardous waste are also expected to be trained and protected.

Who needs to be HAZWOPER trained?

Any employer and employee who is exposed to hazardous substances, whether involved in clean-up, treatment, storage or disposal or may be called upon, in an emergency, to assist.

What is considered a hazardous material?

Per OSHA, a hazardous substance or situation is described as:

  • High concentration of toxic substances
  • Situation that is life or injury threatening
  • Imminent Danger to Life and Health environments (IDLH)
  • Situation that presents an oxygen deficient atmosphere
  • Condition thatposes a fire or explosion hazard
  • Situation that requires an evacuation of the area
  • Situation that requires immediate attention because of the danger it poses to employees in the area

What are the training requirements for HAZWOPER?

Per OSHA, employees and employers are required to complete a 24-hour or 40-hour course, depending on the job type and experience. Once complete, employees and employers are required to take an 8-hour refresher course each year. 

Employees and employers have 6 months to complete their HAZWOPER training at their own pace. Upon completion, each participant will receive an official certificate.

What is the difference between HAZWOPER and HAZMAT?

HAZWOPER refers to ALL training that deals with the operation and emergency response of hazardous waste, chemical spills or releases. 

HAZMAT is a term that is often used to discuss the transportation of hazardous materials including the production, use, disposal and cleanup.