Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. Better known as HAZWOPER. If your operation works with hazardous materials, then this topic is crucial to your interests.
The OSHA Standard
There are five distinct groups of operations that OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard applies to: 1) clean-up operations, 2) corrective actions involving clean-up operations, 3) voluntary clean-up operations, 4) operations involving hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal, and 5) emergency response operations for releases of hazardous substances. Any of these categories may apply to an agriculture operation, so it’s important to be familiar with OSHA’s requirements and guidelines.
Any employee who works with hazardous materials is required to complete annual training. This includes a 40-hour initial training for first-time certifiers, following by an 8-hour annual recertification training after that. Training includes an understanding of both emergency-response equipment as well as personal protective equipment (PPE).
Exposure to hazardous materials can occur at any time, so it is essential that your employees have been properly training in their handling and storage, as well as in emergency response.