Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?



HAZWOPER training is essential for anyone who regularly works with or comes into contact with hazardous waste. An abbreviation for “Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response,” HAZWOPER is a standard created and applied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


What is HAZWOPER Training?

HAZWOPER training is designed to teach commercial employees how to protect themselves and the environment around them in the event of a hazardous waste release. Developed based on Department of Defense guidelines, HAZWOPER standards have been aided by input from the EPA, the NIOSH, and even the U.S. Coast Guard.

The goal of HAZWOPER training is to prepare individuals to effectively and safely stop, clean, and remediate in the event of a hazardous waste event. While official HAZWOPER training can be completed online, most facilities that create or deal with large amounts of hazardous waste require employees to undergo in-person, instructor-led waste training. Refresher training sessions are also commonplace within industries that continuously deal with hazardous waste.


Who is Required to Have HAZWOPER Training?

As a general rule, HAZWOPER training is necessary for employees in one of three specific fields: Uncontrolled hazardous waste site operations; Treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDFs) management; and emergency response.

OSHA outlines very specific applications of the HAZWOPER standard for five groups of employers. Standards differ by industry; for example, construction industry employers are subject to a different level of training certification than workers at chemical waste processing plants.


As a general rule, HAZWOPER training is required if workers are subject to…

  • Exposure of poisonous substances
  • Exposure to chemical fire hazards
  • Exposure to oxygen-deficient environments
  • Exposure to confined spaces
  • Supervision of workers in any of the above conditions


Is Online HAZWOPER Training Sufficient?

In some cases, it comes close. Refresher courses for employees who have been working in their respective industries for years, for example, can effectively be carried out online. First-time HAZWOPER training and 40-hour HAZWOPER training can be completed entirely online, but it is not recommended by OSHA.

The dress-out component of comprehensive HAZWOPER training is always best carried out in person. Donning respirators, wearing HAZMAT suits, and proper procedure for removing bodily contaminants are all techniques learned best kinetically. It is recommended that employers be as involved as possible with HAZWOPER training to provide critical information on organizationally-specific best-practices in the event of a hazardous material release.


HAZWOPER Training from Shield Engineering

Shield Engineering’s senior consultants provide specialized training in a variety of technical areas, including HAZWOPER. Private clients, national trade organizations, and even the federal government have retained our trainers’ services to effectively provide first-time and continuing education for personnel.



Would you like to find out more about Shield Engineering’s training capabilities? Reach out to our experienced team today to discuss what you have in mind.


Back to Civil, Structural, Engineering Blog


Contact Us

Call us at (800) 395-5220