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Hazardous materials and waste are part of many work situations, and can be found on many types of job sites. OSHA feels that it is so important for employees to know how to recognize these potentially dangerous substances (as well as how to handle and dispose of them properly) they have mandated that anyone working with these substances receive comprehensive training in this area.
In 1976, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to regulate the handling of hazardous waste "from cradle to grave". Since then other regulations have followed, including OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.120, also known as HAZWOPER. As part of these regulations, there are varying requirements for employee training, depending on an employee's specific level of involvement with hazardous materials.
HAZWOPER: Personal Protective Equipment instructs employees on the selection and use of personal protective equipment (such as chemical protective clothing and respirators) in environments where hazardous materials are present.
Topics covered in HAZWOPER: Personal Protective Equipment include:
A Brief Timeline of HAZWOPER Safety
1976 - The EPA created the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to regulate the handling of hazardous waste.
1986 - OSHA was given the task of protecting HAZMAT workers.
1990 - OSHA issued the HAZWOPER regulation, which requires a number of specific levels of employee training, depending on an employee's involvement with hazardous materials.
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