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A Guide to Hazardous Waste Training

Hazardous waste is all around us, in many different industries. The basic chemical manufacturing sector alone generated 20.1 million tons of hazardous waste in a single recent year. Many people are also employed in the removal and safe disposal of these contaminants.

If your business handles hazardous waste, your employees need hazardous waste training. The ability to identify and handle hazardous waste correctly could make the difference between life and death in some cases. It's also vital for compliance with OSHA standards and Canada OHS.

Online training delivers the education your employees need at a time and place convenient to them. Let's take a closer look at what's involved in hazardous waste training and who can benefit from it.

What Is Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous waste is defined by the EPA as waste that can have a harmful effect on human health or on the environment. The waste can be solid, liquid, or gas. The disposal of this waste is regulated by the EPA.

The EPA requires businesses that generate hazardous waste to take a 'cradle to grave' approach to handling it. That means that they must:

  • Identify it
  • Document it
  • Handle it correctly
  • Transport it safely
  • Arrange for it to be recycled or disposed of according to EPA regulations

Employers must safely manage the process of handling hazardous materials from start to finish. Plus they need to follow OSHA standards.

The goal of OSHA is to protect workers from harm. OSHA sets out the training requirements for workers handling hazardous waste.

The training requirements differ depending on employees' roles and responsibilities. For example, in uncontrolled hazardous waste operations, employees must have:

  • 40 hours of initial training
  • 3 days of field experience
  • 8 hours of annual refresher training

However, in other contexts, much shorter training will be needed. Online training is an ideal way to ensure that all your employees are familiar with EPA guidelines. It also fulfills your OSHA training requirements.

Who Needs Hazardous Waste Training?

All employees who come into contact with hazardous waste, whether occasionally or on a daily basis, need to have training. As mentioned, training requirements vary depending on the job role and the training will be specific to their role.

This includes those who work at:

  • Large quantity generators of hazardous waste
  • Sites that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous materials
  • Uncontrolled hazardous waste cleanup operations

After completing the initial training, all employees must complete an annual training course to keep them up to date and to serve as a refresher. Training is mandatory for employees, managers and supervisors.

If you make changes to your hazardous waste procedures, it's important to provide training immediately for all affected employees.

What's Included in Hazardous Waste Training?

The world of hazardous waste and its regulation can be bamboozling at first. The goal of OSHA hazardous waste training is to develop the student's awareness of hazardous materials and how to handle them correctly. The course begins with reviewing key terminology.

The course will then help students to understand the context of the OSHA regulations. They'll learn the history of how they came into being and why they exist. They'll look at the benefits that come from following them and the dangers of ignoring them.

Recognizing Hazardous Waste

Correct handling of hazardous waste begins with being able to identify it accurately. In the training course, students will explore the characteristics of hazardous waste. This includes being able to identify waste that is:

  • Flammable
  • Corrosive
  • Toxic
  • Reactive

Students will also learn about specific waste exclusions, solid waste, and listed waste. The EPA has a hazardous waste identification process. Understanding this will help them to understand the specific regulations that relate to that category of waste.

Evaluating Exposure

Now students can identify types of waste and related regulations, they need to be able to accurately evaluate exposure to them. This includes learning about how they can be exposed through surface contamination, contamination of equipment and tools, and dermal exposure.

For gas-based hazardous materials, they'll learn about air contamination and how to monitor this.

Control and Prevention

Now your employees move onto the most crucial part of the course. They'll learn how to follow EPA and workplace standards for handling hazardous waste.

They will learn about how to select and use personal protective equipment in the correct way. They'll discover how to select safer chemicals and handle containers of toxic materials. The course also reviews sanitation procedures for temporary work sites.

Accurate record keeping is crucial to the safe handling of hazardous materials. Generators of hazardous waste must create and keep records for three years. Students will learn how to document this information correctly in accordance with EPA standards.

Why Choose an Online Training Course?

There are many benefits to online training. Your employees can complete it at different times that work for them. There's no need to pull all your employees out of your facility for a day and affect productivity.

Also, learners can complete the course at their own pace. Some students may be able to complete it in as little as two hours. Others will need much longer.

An online course provides flexibility.

You can also purchase online courses in bulk with no expiry date. This lets you make savings and your employees can access them as needed.

Choose Compliance Training for Hazardous Waste Training

If your employees need hazardous waste training, Compliance Training is the smart choice.

Our former clients include more than 31,000 companies, universities, and government agencies. We understand everything there is to know about compliance with OSHA regulations on hazardous waste. Let us get your employees up to speed and keep them safe in the workplace.

For more information about how we can help your business, reach out to us online today!



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