Hazwoper is the abbreviation for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. This compiles a set of different guidelines laid down by Occupational Safety and Health Administration for regulating the operations of hazardous waste along with emergency services in the different states of America. The government considers hazardous waste regulation mandatory for the right mode of disposal. Obtaining hazwoper training and certification is a great way to become a competent industrial hygienist.
Hazwoper Job Description
As a Hazwoper worker, one has to perform the task to ensure the right disposal of hazardous wastes. This means that there is a high risk of exposure to chemicals and other hazardous substances. The various stages of the job include-
• Operations for cleanup
• Emergency response operations
• Storage, disposal and treatment of hazardous substances
• Controlling different areas or hazardous waste sites
• Safe of co-workers
• Elimination of waste the right way
The jobs in Hazwoper fall under 5 categories, and this also includes individuals who are exposed or are at the risk of being exposed to hazardous substances as specified by OSHA regulations. Due to the constant growth of industries and factories in the states, there has also been a rise in disposal of various hazardous wastes ranging from chemicals to minerals.
These jobs are often created by the industries that have hazardous waste in order to ensure that they are functioning in adherence with the OSHA norms and regulations. The state government often conducts these clean up operations. There are also some voluntary cleanup sites that come under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA).
Jobs are created not only for the right disposal but also for the correct method of elimination and collection. The substantial disposal of the waste completes the entire process. There is a constant demand for Hazwoper workers and there is also a potential of many new jobs to keep a check on the environment.
The Hazwoper course description includes the individual to understand the sole purpose of OSHA along with the vital role it has in regulation of occupational safety. The Site Characterization has to be established in a right way so that hazards are eliminated while disposing hazardous material.
The courses and training includes understanding and solving problems with hazards that one may experience along with-
• Identification of various kinds of hazardous materials that exist and try to identify and prevent such conditions in the future.
• Make use of the MSDS or Material Safety Data sheets to efficiently handle the materials
• Try to get familiar with the different kinds of compounds and their relative natures. For instance, some are inflammable while others could be explosive or radiological in nature.
• Ensure that the right kind of protective gear is used during the procedure in order to eliminate the life threatening risks for both employees and to the environment and surroundings too.
• Workout and lay down a viable Site Control Program for restricting the risks to that particular zone
Different Levels of Training
There are different levels of training available with different institutions but it is vital that the training be approved or recognized with OSHA. There are different levels of dangers faced and hence OSHA-specified topics are available at various levels. The course must be done under the specified time.-
General Site Working
The Hazwoper workers who take up the general site jobs need to have at least 40 hours of instruction. 3 days of supervised training is available along 8 hour refresher training.
Specified Task Working
Specified working includes various kind of characteristic site Workers limited to a specific task or workers on fully characterized sites with 24 hours training, which annually renewed.
Managerial and Supervision
Supervision and managerial posts are also available for those who have the above-mentioned training along with special 8-10 hours courses.
Apart from the above, there are regular worker training available for those handling RCRA wastes. The First Responder Awareness Level involves one demonstrating their duties with 24 hours training. The First Responder Operations Level requires Awareness-Level requires 8 hours, while Hazardous Materials Technicians, Hazardous Materials Specialists and On-scene Incident Commanders require 24 hours training along with additional hours required for their specialized services.
Certification and Testing
There are various kinds of community colleges, labor unions, training companies and even employers offering training for the OSHA-compliant sources. However, the certification id only awarded when the expertise in the particular area is gained. The candidate has to clear different quiz modules along with practical examinations and get at least a score of 70 to head to the next level. The final exam can be taken thrice if needed. Before the testing, it is vital for the training to ensure that all the levels of Hazwoper operations are covered. Online testing may be available in some tests, but there are many states that only have hands-on testing provisions available considering the risks involved in the job.