The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a very strict set of training requirements for employees and management whom work in the field of hazardous waste cleanup. While following proper protocol in the event of a hazardous chemical spill is always important, it’s particularly important for companies who specialize in this type of operation. Failure to abide by the training requirements could result in cleanup crews lacking the skills and/or expertise to safely contain the chemical.
What Is a “Cleanup Operation?”
OSHA defines cleanup operations as “an operation where hazardous substances are removed, contained, incinerated, neutralized,d stabilized, cleared-up, or in any other manner processed or handled with the ultimate goal of making the site safer for people or the environment.”
What Is “Hazardous Waste?”
The answer to this question is a bit more complicated. OSHA defines hazardous waste as one of the following:
- A waste or combination of wastes as defined in 40 CFR 261.3.
- Those substances defined as hazardous wastes in 49 CFR 171.8.
If you do a little investigative digging, you’ll discover that 40 CFR 261.3 covers a wide range of substances, chemicals and materials. To learn more about exactly what’s considered hazardous waste, and what’s not, visit the official gpo.gov website.
Training requirements for hazardous waste operations are broken down into different tiers. The first tier involves employees and management who move or excavate hazardous waste on site (see above for definition of hazardous waste). Before they are allowed to work on site, all employees and management must receive a minimum of 40 hours training at a remote location. After completing the full 40 hours, these workers must train for an additional 24 hours on location with a trained worker. Supervisors and management are required to train for an additional 8 hours of “specialized training.”
The second tier involves companies that are only on site on occasion to perform a specific job or task, such as laying land markers. The training requirements for second-tier companies and their respective employees are slightly less stringent. Workers must receive just 24 hours of off-site training followed by 8 hours of on-site training.
OSHA’s training requirements for hazardous waste cleanup operations is somewhat confusing; however, it’s important for each and every company in this line of work to familiarize themselves with these requirements. You can learn more about OSHA’s training requirements by visiting this link: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=20052.