Hazwoper Training Requirements – Breaking It Down

The OSHA Hazwoper Standard 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response Standard, has been on the books for many years.  Even today, the Hazwoper training requirements are confusing, making it hard to decide who needs it and what type of Hazwoper training they need. 


Possibly expect required HAZWOPER Training for the following jobs, including but not limited to:

  • General laborers
  • Equipment operators
  • Hazardous materials technicians, specialists, and supervisors
  • Water treatment systems operator
  • Chemical technician
  • Management & Supervisory personnel
  • General site workers
  • Construction workers
  • Cleanup operations
  • Emergency personnel such as firefighters or military
  • Manufacturing
  • On-site employees that handle emergency response for employers
  • Oil and gas industry workers


Under the OSHA Standard 1910.120 (e) are the basic training requirements. First, the standard starts out with(e)(1)(i). It indicates that all employees, management, and supervisors working on or that are responsible for a site that is exposed to hazardous substances, health hazards, or safety hazards shall receive training. 


Meeting the requirement is crucial before anyone is allowed to work in hazardous waste operations that could expose them to hazardous substances, safety, or health hazards. Then, plan for necessary reviews as well.  Also, (e)(1)(ii) goes on to explain that employees shall not be permitted to participate in or supervise field activities until they have been trained to a level required by their job duties and responsibilities.  






Which Hazwoper Course Should I Take?

The OSHA HAZWOPER standard is a law that requires employees and employers to take initial training for hazardous waste operations. This consists of 40 or 24 hours, depending on whether you’re new in your field or already certified. All those who work with toxic materials must complete the full course unless exempt.

If your job requires you to work at hazardous waste sites or spend a limited amount of time there every day for an extended period of time (48 hours), then the 24-hour HAZWOPER course is likely enough. Talk with your employer about which training is best for you.

40-hour Hazwoper Training


The 1910.120 (e)(3) discusses initial training for employees.  This section indicates that if the employees or supervisors are engaged in hazardous substance removal or other activities which expose or potentially expose workers to hazardous substances and health hazards, then they must receive a minimum of forty hours of instruction off of the site. Additionally, they must complete a minimum of three days of actual field experience under the direct supervision of a trained experienced supervisor. Our 40-hour course meets that requirement. Learn more about our course here


24-hour Hazwoper Training


The standard explains that workers on-site only occasionally for a specific limited task and who are unlikely to be exposed over Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL’s) must receive a minimum of twenty-four hours of instruction off of the site. Also, they must complete a minimum of one day of actual field experience under the direct supervision of trained experienced supervisors. Check out our 24-hour course here.


Also, it names specific exceptions. The standard discusses management and supervisor training as well. It shows that on-site management and supervisors directly responsible for supervised employees engaged in hazardous work operations shall receive forty hours of the initial training. In addition, they must complete three days of supervised field experience.  Furthermore, it explains that a written certificate shall be given to each person who is certified.  


8-hour Refresher

Under Section (e)(8), it discusses the refresher training which indicates that any individuals who are certified shall receive eight hours of refresher training annually on the items specified in paragraph (e)(2) and/or (e)(4) of the OSHA Standards. Our 8-hour refresher satisfies this requirement.

Locations for Hazwoper Training Requirements

The standard explains Section (p). Furthermore, it reviews specific types of locations with required training.   The most common area would be under (p)(7). This identifies the training programs for employees working at Treatment, Storage, and Disposal facilities (TSD facilities). It discusses the required twenty-four-hour training and refresher training. 


Emergency Responders Training

Under section (p)(8)(iii) it discusses the emergency responders training.  First, the training for the emergency response employees shall be completed before they are called upon to perform in real emergencies.  The standard also indicates that employee members of TSD facility emergency response organizations shall be trained to a level of competence in the recognition of hazard and safety hazards to protect themselves and their employees.   It also states that the employer shall certify that each covered employee has attended and successfully completed the training required in Paragraph (p)(8)(iii) of this Section. Employers must verify each employee’s competency of certification of training and record and maintain it.


First Responder Levels Explained

The next area of this Standard, located in 1910.120 (q)(6), indicates that training shall be based on the duties and roles to be performed by each responder of an emergency response organization.  So, this area is broken down into four separate levels.  

  • The first is the First Responder Awareness level for individuals who are likely to witness or discover hazardous substance release and who have been trained to begin an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of the release. 
  • The second is the First Responder Operations level. It indicates that the first responders at the operation level are individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site. This is for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of this release. 
  • The third is the Hazardous Material Technicians. They are individuals who respond to a release or potential release for the purpose of stopping the release.  
  • The fourth is the Hazardous Materials Specialists who are individuals who respond with and provide support to hazardous material technicians. 



Find the specific training for each of these levels in the Standard. It states many variables on the levels of training for each individual.  However, it is required that every one of these employees does receive the 8-hour refresher training.  They must receive the annual refresher training to maintain their competencies or must demonstrate competencies in those areas at least yearly.





Hazwoper Training Requirements Wrap-Up

Lastly, Hazwoper Center can help with all levels of these trainings for any employee of your facility.  Hazwoper Center provides online safety training for the 8-Hour Refresher, 24-Hour, and 40-Hour courses. Additionally, they offer different levels for the first responder certifications.  Hazwoper Center has also made a special agreement that college credit can be earned while taking their 40-hour Hazwoper course.  Please refer to www.hazwopercenter.com for more information.

Hazwoper Training Requirements Explained

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