What is HAZWOPER 40?

HAZWOPER 40 is a requirement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training. OSHA requirements are found in their regulations in 29 CFR 1910.120. They specifically listed HAZWOPER 40 as a particular training requirement for workers conducting clean up operations at hazardous waste sites. HAZWOPER 40 is the initial training needed for workers who could or will be exposed to hazardous substances. The “40” part of the HAZWOPER 40 term stands for 40 hours of instruction. The training is very comprehensive and can be physically demanding. HAZWOPER 40 training will consist of the following minimum topics and typically involves additional training. 

HAZWOPER 40 Course Topics

  • Laws and Regulations 
  • Hazardous substances type and nature
  • Hazard recognition and identification 
  • Toxicology 
  • Physical, mechanical and electrical hazards
  • Heat and cold stress
  • Donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Understanding HAZWOPER Work Zones
  • Air Monitoring 
  • Site health and safety plan
  • Effective communication in work zones
  • Decontamination of equipment and PPE
  • Emergency decontamination 
  • Site emergencies
  • Lines of authority 
  • Evacuations
  • Medical physical with pulmonary function test
  • Respirator fit test
  •  Hands on training on site specific, actual equipment an employee will be using

Annual HAZWOPER refresher training is required once an employee completes the initial HAZWOPER 40 course. If a person fails to maintain their certification by missing a refresher, they will have to complete the initial HAZWOPER 40 training again. There are many providers of HAZWOPER 40 training including online, classroom and site specific. Be sure to do your due diligence and check your prospective training company’s experience, education and reference letters.