Posted on: March 28, 2024

Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?

Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?

If you're working with hazardous materials, navigating the various HAZWOPER training courses might seem complicated. The range of options, from 8-hour to 24-hour and 40-hour courses, can be overwhelming.

In this article, we'll simplify the decision-making process by comparing the differences between these HAZWOPER training programs and guide you to the best one that suits your needs.


OSHA established the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) in 1990 to train personnel to handle and work with hazardous substances. Any worker who performs cleanup, emergency response, or remedial activities that include the uncontrolled release of hazardous substances falls under this category.

HAZWOPER training is designed to protect workers participating in hazardous waste cleanup and emergency response activities by providing them with the necessary safety standards and training. HAZWOPER training operations become more intricate with three distinct versions: 8-hour, 24-hour, and 40-hour.

Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?

HAZWOPER training is meant for anyone who works with hazardous substances and chemicals at high concentrations. It is also required for emergency responders who must deal with hazardous substance spills or uncontrolled chemical releases.

HAZWOPER training is designed for individuals working in confined spaces, hazardous substances or chemicals, environments with oxygen-deficient atmospheres, and Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) atmospheres. It emphasizes close monitoring, adherence to safety measures, and the importance of maintaining a safe work environment.

The Difference Between 8, 24, and 40-Hour Training

There is more to 8, 24, and 40 hours of HAZWOPER training than just how many hours are dedicated to learning the requirements. An easy way to think about it is that the more hours the HAZWOPER training takes, the more thorough and detailed the information becomes. The training course you should take will depend on your function at work.

A 40-hour HAZWOPER training course is required of anyone who is new to managing hazardous waste or emergency response activities. The following people are most likely to be exposed to high concentrations of dangerous substances:

  • General site workers
  • Equipment operators
  • On-site management and supervisors
  • Treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) site workers

A 24-hour HAZWOPER training course is required for anyone working near hazardous materials or lower-level exposure zones. Typically, this includes managers, supervisors, and employees who are not on-site.

The 8-hour training is an annual refresher course on hazardous waste operations and the GHS Communication Standard. This is to keep all workers up to date on any change in standards or just a reminder of past skills. Even the most seasoned employees need a refresher. 

All courses, no matter how long they are, teach an understanding of OSHA regulations and how to comply with them. They all clarify the fundamental safety rules pertaining to chemical waste and emergency preparedness.


Additionally, the amount of real-world, hands-on field experience required for each type of HAZWOPER training will differ. If the trainer thinks that some field experience is necessary, OSHA mandates three days of field experience for 40-hour training, one day for 24-hour training, and none for 8-hour training.  

Does HAZWOPER Training Expire?

HAZWOPER training does not last forever. Every 12 months, you must renew your certification. No matter what training you have received, only an 8-hour refresher course is required.

Only if an employee with a 24- or 40-hour training has been without a refresher course for more than 12 months will they be obliged to retake their initial training. Otherwise, how much recent training and field experience they have will be evaluated based on employment records.

Get the HAZWOPER Training You Need

At, we provide a variety of HAZWOPER courses to get you started. Enroll today in our 40-hour HAZWOPER Training, 24-hour HAZWOPER Training, or 8-hour HAZWOPER Refresher Training courses to maintain your workplace safe and OSHA-compliant.