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Overview: 8, 24, 40-HOUR HAZWOPER Training

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

Here we explore the difference between 8-Hour, 24-Hour, and 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training. But before we begin, let us explain what HAZWOPER is.

What is HAZWOPER Training?

HAZWOPER, Hazardous Waste Operations, and Emergency Response was established by OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Its goal is to protect personnel involved with or working on sites with hazardous waste or Superfund sites, which are abandoned sites containing polluted and contaminated materials. In addition, for those who are subject to chemical release emergencies at facilities where there is storage mobilization and processing of hazardous chemicals.

For additional information, note that HAZWOPER is covered under OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.120.

Who Needs HAZWOPER Training?

Employers are required to provide HAZWOPER training to their employees, depending on their involvement with hazardous materials. There are three levels of HAZWOPER training: 8-hour, 24-hour, and 40-hour. However, the 8-Hour is broken into two-course types as one is the initial training and the other is an annual 8-hour refresher course.


The 8-hour HAZWOPER initial training course is a one-time requirement for HAZWOPER employees that may be exposed to hazardous materials but not directly involved in cleaning up spills or releases.

The objective of this course is to meet the Federal OSHA HAZWOPER training requirements of 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(4) for General Industry and 29 CFR 1926.65(e)(4) for Construction. In addition, it is intended to comply with HAZWOPER training requirements for EPA and State OSHA regulations. (Per 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(4) and (29 CFR 1926.65(e)(4)

The 8-hour course covers the basics of HAZWOPER, including how to recognize hazardous materials, protect oneself from exposure, and what to do in an emergency.

8-Hour HAZWOPER Refresher Course

The annual 8-Hour HAZWOPER refresher course is different from the initial 8-Hour course. This refresher course is designed for workers who must refresh after being certified with 24-Hour or 40-Hour training.

24-Hour HAZWOPER Training

The 24-Hour HAZWOPER training regulated by OSHA is for employees who store, mobilize or process hazardous materials. However, they are not likely to experience high-risk exposure. They are not involved with dangerous materials daily and are not part of decontaminating equipment and clean-up operations.

These employees are considered. “Occasional Site Workers.” Their roles can be hazardous materials specialists, technicians, supervisors, management supervisors, and on-scene incident commanders.

The 24-Hour course will cover the detection of hazardous materials, levels of protection, types of hazards, decontamination, site emergencies, site safety plans, hazard communication, toxicology, respirators, fall protection, confined spaces, and agencies and regulations.

40-Hour HAZWOPER Training

OSHA created the 40-Hour HAZWOPER training for employees who regularly work with hazardous materials. This includes firefighters, hazmat team members and others on the front lines of a response effort. In addition, they are required to participate in clean-up operations of hazardous materials.

The 40-Hour course covers all of the topics covered in the 8-hour and 24-hour courses, as well as more in-depth topics such as respiratory protection, chemical protective clothing, and air monitoring.

Many companies will get 40-Hour HAZWOPER certification for all their employees to cover all their bases and may also receive insurance discounts.

24-Hour and 40-Hour HAZWOPER

HAZWOPER standards apply to five distinct groups of spill response.

Those requiring 24-Hour and or 40-Hour HAZOPER training are engaged in one of the following operations as specified by 1910.120(a)(1)(i-v) and 1926.65(a)(1)(i-v):


Clean-up operations at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that the local, state, or federal government requires. This also includes facilities where there is a very large spill release but beyond their spill cleanup capabilities in HAZMAT team members, comfort level, and supplies.

Overview: 8, 24, 40-HOUR HAZWOPER Training

Corrective Actions

Taking the appropriate actions involving clean-up at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as amended (42 USC 6901 et seq.) This covers those personnel who handle hazardous waste and disposal at a facility.

Voluntary Clean-Up

Voluntary clean-up at sites recognized by local, state, federal, or other governmental bodies as uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

Working at Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities

Those who treat, store and dispose of hazardous wastes are regulated by Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 264 and 265, according to RCRA. In addition, agencies under agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA regulations.

Emergency Response Teams

Those who are part of emergency response operations and are threatened by the release of hazardous substances regardless of the location. This is particularly applicable to facilities that mobilize, store and process hazardous chemicals.

How Long Is 24-Hour and 40-Hour HAZWOPER Good For?

The 24-Hour and the 40-Hour HAZWOPER training courses require you to take an 8-Hour HAZWOPER refresher course annually. This is essential to keep up to date with any HAZWOPER changes and remain OSHA compliant per their regulation.

Regardless of the level of HAZWOPER training required, all courses must meet the minimum requirements set forth by OSHA. This may include classroom instruction and hands-on training exercises. Contact Atlantic Environmental to learn more about your HAZWOPER training course options.

Classroom vs. Hands-On Training

The classroom instruction covers the learning/fundamental aspects of HAZWOPER. The training includes the properties of hazardous materials, the health effects of exposure, and the various types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that may be required.

The hands-on training simulates real-world scenarios that employees may encounter. This will include setting up and using equipment such as air monitoring devices, practicing decontamination procedures, and simulating a hazardous materials release. Hands-on training is essential to ensure that employees can apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

Sign Up For 8-Hour, 24-Hour, or 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training.

HAZWOPER training is vital for protecting workers exposed to hazardous materials in the workplace. The required training level depends on the worker’s involvement with hazardous waste. To learn more and discuss what HAZWOPER training you need for your employees, contact Atlantic Environmental today.

We offer 8-Hour, 24-Hour, and 40-Hour HAZWOPER training to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and the Boston area.

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