HAZWOPER Courses

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Initial Classes

Refresher Classes

More Info

"HAZWOPER" is the singularly ugly-sounding acronym for the "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard" mandated by Congress in the 1986 "Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act."

The OSHA HAZWOPER standards (29 CFR 1910.120 and 29 CFR 1926.65) were instituted to protect employees who might be exposed to a DOT hazardous material or a biological hazard while performing three types of work:

  1. conducting cleanups at a government-recognized waste site;
  2. working at a RCRA-permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF); or
  3. performing emergency response to a potential or actual release.

OSHA does not have a course approval system, contrary to what you may have heard. However, the Institute courses cover all of the elements required by 29 CFR 1910.120. In addition, the Institute is one of the programs participating in the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training, funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS, grant #ES06184), so we can offer you high quality HAZWOPER training at an attractive cost. The Consortium course materials are consistent best-sellers at the NIEHS website.

OSHA mandates that if you are continuing to do HAZWOPER refreshers, you must have an annual refresher course. For site workers and RCRA TSDF workers the requirement is 8 hours annually; for emergency response workers the time is not specified.

Course Summaries

HAZWOPER Trainer

OSHA HAZWOPER Training for Trainers - If you (or the person being trained) will be training other people to perform HAZWOPER task, OSHA requires that trainers have experience or coursework in the training of adults (no training hours or course provider specified).

  • Initial : 8 hours (1 day) including hands-on, classroom, and topic presentations (no mandated refresher).

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RCRA TSDF Worker

OSHA HAZWOPER RCRA TSDF Courses - If you (or the person being trained) work at a permitted RCRA TSDF, OSHA has defined no specific requirements other than course completion and employer certification.

  • Initial : 24 hours (3 days), including hands-on, classroom, and test.
  • Refresher : 8 hours (1 day), including classroom and test. 

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OSHA HAZWOPER Waste Site Cleanup Courses

Certification Information: If you (or the person being trained) will be performing:

  • Underground storage tank removal or remediation
  • Assessment of government-recognized contaminated site
  • Cleanup of government-recognized contaminated sit

The Office of the Indiana Fire Marshal requires that persons supervising removals of underground storage tanks containing flammable or combustible liquids must complete HAZWOPER training and pass a state-administered examination.

In addition to completing the initial course, OSHA requires that you have supervised time at a cleanup waste site and be certified by your employer.

HAZWOPER Limited Site Worker

If your activities are limited and your exposure will always below published exposure limits:

  • Initial: 24 hours (3 days), including hands-on, classroom, and test.
  • Refresher: 8 hours (1 day), including classroom, and test. (Same as the General Site Worker)

HAZWOPER General Site Worker

If you are just a worker with no responsibility for supervising other workers:

  • Initial: 40 hours (5 days), including hands-on, classroom, and test.
  • Refresher: 8 hours (1 day), including classroom, and test.

HAZWOPER Site Supervisor

Supervisors need both the HAZWOPER General Site Worker and the HAZWOPER Site Supervisor training courses, in addition to the required field training.

  • Initial: 8 hours (1 day), including hands-on, classroom, and test, after completing the 40-hour General Site Worker.
  • Refresher: 8 hours (1 day), including classroom, and test. (Same as the General Site Worker)

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OSHA HAZWOPER Chemical Emergency Response Courses

If you (or the person being trained) will be cleaning up releases / spills of hazardous chemical or biological substances, OSHA requires that the employer certify each employee's competence and provide annual refresher training (no training hours specified).

What Type of HAZWOPER Chemical Emergency Response Training Do I Need?

First Responder Operations Level

  • Initial: 12 hours (1.5 days), including hands-on and classroom. A shorter customized class is also available.
  • Refresher: 8 hours (1 day), including hands-on and classroom. (Same as the Technician unless offered as customized training)

HazMat Emergency Response Technician

  • Initial: 24 hours (3 days), including hands-on, classroom, and test.
  • Refresher: 8 hours (1 day), including hands-on and classroom.

Emergency Response Professional (Incident Commander/HazMat Specialist)

  • Initial: 40 hours (5 days), including hands-on, classroom, and test.
  • Refresher: 8 hours (1 day), including hands-on and classroom. (Same as the Technician unless offered as customized training)

Emergency Response Incident Commander

  • Initial: 16 hours (2 days), including hands-on, classroom, and test, in addition to the 24-hour HazMat Technician course.
  • Refresher: 8 hours (1 day), including hands-on and classroom. (Same as the Technician unless offered as customized training)

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