One of the most important things to ask yourself when you are working in operations concerned with handling hazardous material and emergency response is – where to get HAZWOPER training? In order to aid you with answering that question, in this article, we will first present who can provide HAZWOPER training, who should undergo HAZWOPER training, and, last but not least, where to get HAZWOPER training in Nevada. Let us start by asking the most important question.
Who can provide HAZWOPER training?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration does not certify HAZWOPER instructors. It also does not state specific instructions for instructors they need and that are related to hazardous waste operations before teaching the HAZWOPER training courses. OSHA only requires that your decision concerning the instructor’s ability to present the material correctly is satisfactory for both you and your business. Any employee who is able to meet the OSHA requirements based on their experience, degree, or training can act as the instructor for your HAZWOPER program.
Therefore, we can break down the types of instructors into two categories: instructors who have, primarily, hands-on experience and certification achieved through successful completion of a HAZWOPER Train-the-Trainer course, and instructors who finished the relevant educational programs for HAZWOPER training.
Instructors that have successfully finished the HAZWOPER Train-the-trainer course
These courses should cover the regulatory and training requirements of the Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response (29 CFR 1910.120) standard. As per OSHA, a measure of an instructor’s competence is the successful completion of the train-the-trainer program, in addition to training and experience specific to the topics they will teach. These courses should meet the Appendix E HAZWOPER training requirements. Moreover, future instructors must undergo practical training in order to be qualified for the experiential requirements of the standard.
Instructors that have academic credentials relevant to the HAZWOPER standard
However, instructors do not need to finish a train-the-trainer course in order to be able to hold a HAZWOPER training course. If they have successfully completed the relevant HAZWOPER training courses – e.g., the initial 24-hour or 40-hour training courses – and if the employer deems their experience at a high enough level to teach, the instructor is not required to undertake a train-the-trainer course.
It bears repeating that OSHA does not certify, approve, or endorse individual training programs or trainers. It is the employer’s responsibility to determine if the instructor will meet the requirements and has the necessary qualifications as per the HAZWOPER standard.
As stated above, the OSHA standard identifies qualified trainers as those who have satisfactorily completed an instructional program – the so-called train-the-trainer course – or who otherwise have the credentials and instructional experience necessary to teach the relevant subject matter, i.e., a 40-hour HAZWOPER training course or 8-hour refresher training program completed before a certain amount of time or, alternatively, a relevant academic degree. The trainer is expected to demonstrate an understanding of and proficiency in the material that is to be transmitted to the trainees, e.g., site-specific health, hazard recognition, and safety plans, site clean-up engineering controls, as well as PPE (personal protective equipment), and have some instructional credentials or experience in training others. Also, we note that trainers must continue to attend training in order to maintain their knowledge and skills base.
You must be sure that the employee you have chosen can reliably deliver the HAZWOPER information. The instructors you select can meet this requirement if they complete a train-the-trainer program. Also, they must have instructed others concerning this topic in the past. As with the instructor’s academic qualifications, you decide for yourself. In the end, OSHA regulations do allow you significant flexibility.
However, the employee you pick to teach your HAZWOPER training can meet the training requirement in another way. If the employee has an academic degree related to the subject, you may decide that is adequate. If you determine that a degree in transportation or a degree in industrial safety and health meets the requirements, then that degree will be sufficient. In the interpretation of OSHA standard that concerns this matter, OSHA has made it perfectly clear that the regulations are specifically drafted in a way that will allow employers flexibility.
HAZWOPER instructors can also have a combination of work experience and hazardous materials training if they do not have the academic credentials, such as a degree in a relevant area. Moreover, they also must have experience in teaching the HAZWOPER material – in these cases, working as an assistant to a HAZWOPER instructor can suffice. Furthermore, they must demonstrate their understanding of the material to you. OSHA does not require that instructors meet requirements or have a certification of any type. You, as their employer, judge their ability to teach the material.
Who should undertake HAZWOPER training?
All employees who are handling and are exposed to hazardous materials are all required to take a 24 hour or 40-hour initial HAZWOPER Training Course, as required by the OSHA HAZWOPER Standard (29CFR Part 1910.120).
Depending on the individual’s job, the employee may need to take the 24-hour course instead, in order to meet their HAZWOPER training requirement. This is determined by the level of possible exposure to hazardous substances. More specifically, if the exposure will not be at or above the PELs (Permissible Exposure Limits), the worker should undertake the 24-hour course; if the exposure will exceed PELs, the worker is required to undertake the 40-hour training.
There is also a requirement to undertake an 8-hour refresher course annually, regardless of the initial training. Its contents depend on the job function and individual responsibility, and it must be taken every 365 days – at most. It is important that every employee acquires a certificate for the HAZWOPER training course before they engage in hazardous waste operations, as that could expose them to dangerous substances.
There are three types of operations/activities included in the training, as well as nine levels of the training for workers who are exposed to dangerous substances. This includes workers who are engaged in: cleaning, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials, workers in the construction industry, workers who may come in contact with bloodborne pathogens, and people working at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
The Nevada OSHA safety training also requires that the clean-up workers focus primarily on protective equipment and not the emergency response equipment. HAZWOPER training will cover all four PPE levels that range from A-D and vary in the skin, respiratory, and eye protection.
Additionally, most of the costs should be covered by the employer themselves, not from employees’ pockets. The employer also has to ensure that the trainer in charge is able to cover the subjects of handling hazardous waste and the emergency response as required by the standard. Moreover, since the certification process is aimed at the employee and not the employer, the trainer must cover all aspects of HAZWOPER training and not only those at the current site. Furthermore, the HAZWOPER training also needs to include supervisors and other relevant employees in the training process.
Where to get HAZWOPER training?
HAZWOPER training can be conducted both online and on-site, depending on your needs. If you are interested in attending a HAZWOPER course, you can contact us here. We also specialize in EM-385, EPA, MSHA, and OSHA compliance and training for general industry, construction, and mining. Scheduling is simple:
- Together, we determine the services and the time that fit your requirements.
- We come to your site or workplace in order to provide training, and
- We work on the time frame you determined.
Compliance and training can be scheduled anywhere in Northern California and Nevada. These are available for management, supervisors, and non-supervisory level employees. Employers are encouraged to schedule large groups and take advantage of discounted rates. Feel free to contact us with any specific safety concerns, needs, questions, and/or requirements!