Workers in hazmat suits

HAZWOPER Training Requirements

By: Abbie Geigle 

HAZWOPER is an acronym which stands for "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response." HAZWOPER training is covered under OSHA standard CFR Part 1910.120. 

According to OSHA, the HAZWOPER standard applies to five groups of employers and their employees.  It also applies to any employees who are exposed to hazardous substances and who are engaged in several operations including clean-up, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.  Also, workers involved in an emergency response operation that deals with hazardous waste and workers who have to perform duties at a waste site where hazardous contamination are equally expected to be fully training and protected.  

OSHA recognizes several levels of training, based on the work the employee will be performing and the level of hazard they will be facing.  Each level requires a different training program, and OSHA specifies topics and minimum training times.  Click here to learn more about the different training levels. 

The training is what makes HAZWOPER unique.  In some instance, the training levels may or may not overlap.  In other cases, though, these are prohibited by

OSHA because workers without specific training may not be able to characterize waste unless trained to do that task.  The Site Safety Supervisor or Officer should be consulted.  A competent industrial hygienist or other qualified person who is HAZWOPER trained should be consulted as well. 

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Thank you, Victoria, for your comments. We are glad this article helped clarify things for you and we hope it will help in your training. Have a safe day!


I made the decision to learn more about hazwoper training because my uncle has expressed interest in it. It’s good that you clarified that HWOR stands for hazardous waste operations and emergency response, which covers workers exposed to hazardous materials in a variety of tasks, including cleanup. I’ll make sure to check out our pros that can assist with the training and share this with him.

Victoria Addington

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