HAZWOPER Questions & Answers

See our HAZWOPER Training page for 40 Hour HAZWOPER, 24 Hour HAZWOPER or 8 Hour HAZWOPER Refresher course options.

The HAZWOPER acronym stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

You could define HAZWOPER as set of guidelines provided by OSHA to regulate “Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response” activities.

HAZWOPER training is mandated by OSHA in standard 29 CFR 1910.120 and 29 CFR 1926.65 for workers involved with hazardous waste operations and emergency response. The different levels of HAZWOPER training requirements are determined by the type of work performed and the likelihood of hazardous material exposure.

Workers and employers exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances and engaged in any of the following are required to have HAZWOPER training:

  • Clean-up operations required by a governmental body, whether federal, state, local, or other involving hazardous substances that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites
  • Corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.)
  • Voluntary clean-up operations at sites recognized by federal, state, local, or other governmental body as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites
  • Operations involving hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities regulated by 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA, or by agencies under agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA regulations
  • Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard.

The initial 24 or 40 Hour HAZWOPER training and supervised field experience are required prior to engaging in hazardous waste operations. Workers are then required to take an 8 Hour HAZWOPER Refresher course annually to maintain their training. If there has been a lapse in training, the need to repeat initial training must be determined based on the employee’s familiarity with safety and health procedures used on site. See OSHA’s HAZWOPER FAQ’s for more detail. 

There are a number of options when looking for 40 Hour HAZWOPER training, including Online HAZWOPER training, Classroom HAZWOPER training, Blended Online/Classroom Courses, and Onsite Training.

OSHA HAZWOPER regulations are provided in standard 29 CFR Part 1910.120 and 29 CFR 1926.65.

OSHA does not provide certification for HAZWOPER courses, nor does it endorse or certify HAZWOPER training. The term 40 Hour HAZWOPER certification generally refers to the HAZWOPER certificate of course completion that a training provider gives a student after course completion.

Generally, you will need to pass one or more HAZWOPER test during your training. These tests are used to ensure the training material is being retained and that workers know how to act safely in situations involving hazardous substances. Never use test answers you find online, as performing HAZWOPER jobs without the proper knowledge could cause injuries, illnesses or even fatalities. If you are having trouble passing your HAZWOPER exams, you may want to consider extra study or taking a different course that better meets your needs.

The terms HAZWOPER (Hazardous Materials Operations and Emergency Response) and Hazmat (Hazardous Materials) are related, but have differences. HAZWOPER generally refers to the training required and work performed for contaminated site remediation, emergency response, and treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes. There are HAZWOPER regulations regarding hazardous materials, or Hazmat, under the HAZWOPER emergency response requirements. The term “Hazmat” is not exclusive to HAZWOPER operations. It is also commonly used in DOT regulations regarding persons involved in the hazardous materials transportation process.

There are 9 initial HAZWOPER training levels, each with different training requirements.

  • 40 Hour HAZWOPER
  • 24 Hour HAZWOPER
  • HAZWOPER Supervisor
  • 24 Hour TSDF Worker
  • Hazardous Materials First Responder Awareness (FRA)
  • Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations (FRO)
  • Hazardous Materials Technician
  • Hazardous Materials Specialist
  • Hazardous Materials Incident Commander

For workers who have completed training and received their 24- or 40 Hour HAZWOPER certification, annual 8 Hour HAZWOPER refresher training is required to maintain their training level.

Both the 24 and 40 Hour HAZWOPER training must be refreshed annually.

hazmat technicians carrying equipment
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