HAZWOPER Training: What is it? Do I need it?

Date: August 14, 2018

HAZWOPER Training: What is it? Do I need it? 

HAZWOPER is an acronym for The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response that was enacted by OSHA in 1990. Its purpose is to protect workers who are vulnerable to chemical exposure at hazardous clean-up sites. Due to the toxic, flammable or corrosive nature of these substances, this safety standard was created. Its origins date back to World War II, when the atomic bomb development sites left behind hazardous debris. OSHA then developed HAZWOPER based on existing Department of Defense (DoD) guidance - in addition to input from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the US Coast Guard. 

HAZWOPER has since then become a health and safety standard that trains workers on workplace safety while performing chemical response actions. The mandatory training is eeded if workers are going to be

  • Exposed to high concentrations of poisonous substances
  • Exposed to chemical conditions that are a fire or explosion hazard
  • Exposted to sites with at or above IDLH levels
  • Exposted to oxygen deficient atmospheres (less than 19.5%)
  • Lead evacuations due to chemical chemical atmospheres or oxygen deficient conditions
  • Perform in confined space entries
  • Supervise workers exposed to any of the aforementioned dangers

How are workers trained? 

At The Office of Continuing And Professional Studies, of The City College of New York in Harlem, a 40-hour certification course is offered throughout the year. The 40-hour certification course features training that meets current industry, government and academic standards - taught by an OSHA-authorized trainer. Students will learn clean-up procedures at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, corrective actions involving clean-up operations, emergency response operations for releases of hazardous substances and more. 

Students who complete the course will earn 40 Professional Development Hours certifed by The Practicing Institute of Engineering, Inc (PIE). 

Why is this important? 

In 2002, continuing education became a mandatory requirement for licensed Professional Engineers to maintain their New York State registration status. This is measured in "professional development hours." Each licensed engineer is required to complete 36 hours per three-year registration period. Completing just one course at CCNY's Continuing and Professional Studes will fulfill that requirement!