Hazardous Material/Waste Training Resources

OSHA Hazardous Material/Waste Response (HAZWOPER)
HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response and is the OSHA requirement that covers protection of workers responding to hazardous materials spills. The OSHA HAZWOPER Standard (29 CFR 1910.120) includes 3 distinct types of operations and outlines 9 levels of certification.

EPA Hazardous Waste Management (RCRA)
RCRA stands for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and contains the EPA-based requirement (40 CFR 261) that covers the proper management of hazardous waste (generation, transportation, treatment, storage or disposal) and its effects on the environment.

DOT Hazardous Material Transportation (Rail/Air/Vessel/Highway)
The Department of Transportation (DOT) defines a hazardous material as a substance or material that is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and has been designated as hazardous under the federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5103).

To find out more information about HAZWOPER, RCRA, and DOT hazardous waste management, check out the items below:

  • RCRA
  • State HazMat Programs
  • OSHA Links


Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) is a set of guidelines produced and maintained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which regulates hazardous waste operations and emergency services in the U.S. and its territories. With these guidelines, the U.S. government regulates hazardous wastes and dangerous goods from inception to disposal.

The HAZWOPER standard provides employers, emergency response workers, and other workers potentially exposed to hazardous substances information and training criteria to improve workplace safety and health and reduce

The HAZWOPER standard for the construction industry (29 CFR 1926.65) is identical to the federal standard (29 CFR 1910.120).

In limited exceptions, the HAZWOPER standard for construction provides examples or references to other standards for the construction industry that vary from what are provided in the HAZWOPER standard for general industry.

Hazardous waste, as defined by the standard, is a waste (or combination of wastes) according to 40 CFR §261.3 or substances defined as hazardous wastes in 49 CFR §171.8.

Mandatory Required Training

The OSHA HAZWOPER Standard (29 CFR Part 1910.120) – requires that all workers that are exposed to or handle hazardous materials:

  • Are required take a 24 hour or 40 hour HAZWOPER Training Course; and
  • An 8hr Annual Refresher Course;
  • At a level required by their job function and responsibility; and
  • Before they are permitted to engage in hazardous waste operations that could expose them to hazardous substances.

All of our courses comply with OSHA regulations. Receive your certification with our 24- or 40-hour course, or renew your HAZWOPER certification with our 8-hour refresher.

Three Levels of HAZWOPER Training

The HAZWOPER regulations contain 3 levels of training for personnel.

  • Emergency Response - 29 CFR 1910.120 (q);
  • General Site Cleanup - 29 CFR 1910.120 (e); and
  • Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDF) - 29 CFR 1910.120 (p).

Five HAZWOPER Operation Types

The standard describes five operations that fall within the regulation’s scope with three training-types that have unique learning objectives and varying training-hours requirements.

HAZWOPER applies to five groups of employers and their employees. This includes employees who are exposed (or potentially exposed) to hazardous substances (including hazardous waste) and who are engaged in one of the following operations as specified by OSHA 1910.120(a)(1)(i-v) and 1926.65(a)(1)(i-v):

  1. Cleanup operations required by a governmental body (federal, state, local or other) involving hazardous substances conducted at uncontrolled hazardous-waste sites.
  2. Corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).
  3. Voluntary cleanup operations at sites recognized by a federal, state, local, or other governmental body as uncontrolled hazardous-waste sites.
  4. Operations involving hazardous waste which are conducted at treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities regulated by Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, parts 264 and 265 pursuant to the RCRA, or by agencies under agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA regulations.
  5. Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of release of, hazardous substances (regardless of the hazard's location).

The most commonly used manual for HAZWOPER activities is Department of Health and Human Services Publication 85–115, Occupational Safety and Health Guidance Manual for Hazardous Waste Site Activities. Written for government contractors and first responders, the manual lists safety requirements for cleanups and emergency-response operations.


OSHA/Interagency Guidance Documents

For additional resources and information, please reference the Government Agency website directly:




The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the federal law that creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste. Under the RCRA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates hazardous waste to ensure these wastes are managed in ways that protect human health and the environment.

Mandatory Required Training

The EPA requires RCRA training for “personnel” [40 CFR 260.10 - Definitions] or "all persons who work at, or oversee the operations of, a hazardous waste facility, and whose actions or failure to act may result in noncompliance" - must complete RCRA training within 6 months of initial hire - and take an 8 hour refresher training course annually [40 CFR 265.16(b) and (c)].

  • 40 CFR §265.16 Personnel training.
  • (a) (1) Facility personnel must successfully complete a program ... that teaches them to perform their duties in a way that ensures the facility's compliance with the requirements of this part.
  • (b) Facility personnel must successfully complete the program required in paragraph (a) of this section within ... six months after the date of their employment or assignment to a facility, or to a new position at a facility, whichever is later. Employees hired after the effective date of these regulations must not work in unsupervised positions until they have completed the training requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.
  • (c) Facility personnel must take part in an annual review of the initial training required in paragraph (a) of this section.

Employers should train all personnel that handle hazardous waste so they are able to properly recognize and manage hazardous wastes in order to identify situations that could cause releases and react quickly to prevent or stop spills.

Hazardous Waste Generators

A generator of hazardous waste is defined at 40 CFR 260.10 as any person, by site, whose act or process produces hazardous waste identified or listed in Part 261 or whose act first causes a hazardous waste to become subject to regulation.

Hazardous waste generators are divided into three categories, based on the amount of waste produced, and are subject to different levels of regulation.

Very Small Quantity Generators/Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs)

  • Hazardous Waste Generated - Quantity Limits: ≤ 100 kg/month, and ≤ 1 kg/month of acute hazardous waste, and ≤ 100 kg/month of acute spill residue or soil.
  • RCRA Training: Training not mandatory - but recommended so employees can recognize and properly manage hazardous wastes and prevent spills.
  • 40 CFR 260.14

Small Quantity Generators

  • Hazardous Waste Generated - Quantity Limits: >100 kg/month and <1,000 kg/month
  • RCRA Training: Basic RCRA training required.
  • 40 CFR 262.16 (b)(9)(iii)
    • (iii) The small quantity generator must ensure that all employees are thoroughly familiar with proper waste handling and emergency procedures, relevant to their responsibilities during normal facility operations and emergencies.

Large Quantity Generators

  • Hazardous Waste Generated - Quantity Limits ≥1,000 kg/month, or >1 kg/month of acute hazardous waste, or >100 kg/month of acute spill residue or soil
  • RCRA Training: Full RCRA training Required
  • 40 CFR 262.17(a)(7)
    • (7)Personnel training.
    • (i)(A) Facility personnel must successfully complete a program of classroom instruction, online training (e.g., computer-based or electronic), or on-the-job training that teaches them to perform their duties in a way that ensures compliance with this part.
    • (C) At a minimum, the training program must be designed to ensure that facility personnel are able to respond effectively to emergencies by familiarizing them with emergency procedures, emergency equipment, and emergency systems, including where applicable:
      • (1) Procedures for using, inspecting, repairing, and replacing facility emergency and monitoring equipment;
      • (2) Key parameters for automatic waste feed cut-off systems;
      • (3) Communications or alarm systems;
      • (4) Response to fires or explosions;
      • (5) Response to ground-water contamination incidents; and
      • (6) Shutdown of operations.
    • (iii)Facility personnel must take part in an annual review of the initial training required in paragraph (a)(7)(i) of this section.

Reference: EPA: Categories of Hazardous Waste Generators


State Hazardous Waste Programs & Environmental Agencies

Source: EPA



American Samoa – U.S. Territory







District of Columbia – Washington DC



Guam – U.S. Territory



















New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Northern Mariana Islands – U.S. Territory





Puerto Rico – U.S. Commonwealth

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota



Trust Territories




Virgin Islands – U.S. Territory

  • No entries available


Washington, DC – The District of Columbia

West Virginia




OSHA Federal and State Links

U.S. DOL Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works to prevent injuries and protect the health of workers.

Chemical Information

MSDS Sites

Nonprofit Organizations and Standards


Safety Professional Organizations

Other Safety Information


Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)

SHARPThe Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) is designed to provide incentives and support to employers to develop, implement and continuously improve effective safety and health programs at their worksite. SHARP provides recognition for employers who demonstrate exemplary achievements in workplace safety and health. These companies are exempted from a general scheduled Federal OSHA inspection for one to two years.

How Can My Company Participate In SHARP?

To participate in SHARP, you must:

  • Request a consultation visit that involves a complete hazard identification survey;
  • Involve employees in the consultation process;
  • Correct all hazards identified by the consultant;
  • Implement and maintain a safety and health management system that, at a minimum, addresses OSHA’s 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines;
  • Lower your company’s Lost-Workday Injury and Illness rate (LWDII) and Total Recordable Case Rate (TRCR) below the national average; and
  • Agree to notify your state Consultation Project Office prior to making any changes in the working conditions or introducing new hazards into the workplace

For more information, visit the OSHA web page for SHARP programs.