What is HAZWOPER Training?

HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. Hazardous waste that is toxic, flammable or corrosive can cause fires, explosions and pollution and can be extremely harmful if they are not properly treated and disposed of. Employees that work with hazardous waste need to have training according to OSHA’s regulations.

Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?

If you’re employees work or are involved with any of the following five categories (per OSHA), they will need HAZWOPER training:

  1. Clean-up operations — required by a governmental body, whether federal, state, local, or other involving hazardous substances — that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites;
  2. Corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.);
  3. Voluntary clean-up operations at sites recognized by federal, state, local, or other governmental body as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites;
  4. Operations involving hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities regulated by Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA, or by agencies under agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA regulations; and
  5. Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard.

What Training is Required

If your employees engage in any of the five categories listed above, they need to go through a basic 40 hour HAZWOPER training. Training requirements are heavily based on employee job roles and responsibilities. Give one of our safety consultants a call today for more information at 888-403-6026.

General Examples of Levels of Exposure and Training Needed:

40 hours

  • General site workers and supervisors where they can be exposed to hazardous substances or the removal of those substances will need to attend a 40 hour HAZWOPER training. Employees involved or exposed to clean-up operations, corrective action involving clean-up operations, voluntary clean-up operations, operations involving hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities, or emergency response operations for the release of hazardous substances.

24 hours

  • Team members that are coming on to the site only occasionally to do monitoring or surveying. They also need one day of on-site training.
  • Hazardous Materials Technician
  • Hazardous Materials Specialist
  • Incident Commander

8 hours

  • After the initial 40 hour training is completed, OSHA requires attendees to take an 8 hour refresher class to maintain their training requirements. OSHA approves of companies conducting their refresher training in segments to meet the requirements of the standard, as long as all of the provisions for refresher training in paragraphs (e), (p), or (q), are met and completed by the anniversary date. 8 hours is a minimum requirement.
  • First Responders are required to have a minimum of 8 hours of training and must display competency of all items listed in section 120(6)(ii).


  • OSHA requires HAZWOPER awareness training for all employees that may discover a spill so they know how to promptly contact an emergency response team. An example might be a utility worker whom is on-site but would not directly be involved in the cleanup activities of a spill.

Training Depends on Job Responsibilities & Roles

On a hazardous waste site that has many site specific peculiarities the employer may need to train employees beyond the 40 or 24 hour minimum set by the standard. Employees must be provided training that prepares them for their job functions and responsibilities, as stated in the general requirements in 29 CFR 1910.120(e).

Call us at 888-403-6026 For Guidance & Training

Lancaster Safety’s HAZWOPER training will be documented for each attendee that completes the full training. Retraining is required annually for 8 full hours but can be completed in segments. If your company is working under an OSHA approved state plan, you will need to comply with their specific regulations and requirements.