What Are the Training Regulations for Working Around Hazardous Materials?

The U.S. ships over 3 billion tons of hazardous cargo each year. About 94% of the daily amount of hazmat is completed by truck. The proper and safest methods for shipping hazardous materials requires workers at every level to be trained in handling hazardous waste in preparation for the worst case scenario.

A driver of hazardous materials would want to be certified by the Department of Transportation, so they would pursue a DOT Hazmat training course. In the case of workers involved in clean up and emergency responses they would need the hazardous waste operations and emergency response, or HAZWOPER training. There are several options to stay in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health administration, of which is responsible for regulation of hazardous waste operations.

Working With Hazardous Materials: What Kind of Training Is Required?

Most jobs have some degree of stress involved in the daily tasks required of employees. However, for those workers dealing with the shipping or cleaning up of hazmat that stress rises to a different level all together. Good training can help workers execute tasks with more confidence.

The Time Requirements of DOT Training For Shipping Hazardous Materials.

The DOT has classified nine different classes of hazardous cargo. It is crucial to the safety of the driver, workers, and the public that the worker creating the load plans for the cargo is certified in the shipment of hazardous goods. Workers need to go for a refresh in their training at least once every three years. In the event of a modification in the regulations, the worker is required to attend the updated training within 90 days of implementation.

How to Know Which HAZWOPER Training Program is Right For You.

HAZWOPER training programs come in three types. A worker must first be certified in the 24- hour course or the 40- hour course. Then, they must take the 8- hour Refresher course once every 12 months. The length of the initial training depends on the type of work the employee is involved in and should be discussed with the employer. OSHA has very clear regulations on the degree of training required in different environments.

What Is the Difference Between HAZWOPER Courses?

The 24- hour HAZWOPER training is for those employees who visit Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Operation sites. This training focuses on broad knowledge. The 40- hour HAZWOPER training goes more in-depth and is meant for employees involved in the clean up of hazardous wastes. Both certifications take the 8- hour refresher course once a year.

Working with hazardous wastes requires a great deal of knowledge. When it comes to the initial training, it is best to take the time to go for in-class instruction. The student needs to be able to ask questions from the instructor, and online courses while convenient do not lend themselves well to such detailed learning. It is possible to find segmented classes to accommodate one’s schedule.

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