Are You Covered by Hazwoper?

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: February 21st, 2012
Topics: Hazwoper & Emergency Response |

Hazwoper, aka the OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard (29 C.F.R. Section 1910.120), applies to you if both of the following conditions are met:  2 conditions must be met:

Condition 1: You Handle Hazardous Substances or Waste

First, you must be involved in the handling of “hazardous substances” or “hazardous waste.”

“Hazardous substances” means any substance:

  • Biologic and other disease causing agents that upon release into the environment and exposure can either through direct ingestion or indirect ingestion, e.g., by eating a plant contaminated by the agent, can cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutation, physiological and reproductive malfunction or physical deformation in the person or his/her offspring;
  • Any substance listed by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation as hazardous material under 49 C.F.R. 172.101; or
  • “Hazardous waste” as defined in the next section.

“Hazardous waste” means:

Condition 2: You Engage in a Covered Operation

You must also conduct one or more of the kind of operations covered by the Hazwoper standard, including:

Cleanup Operations Required by Government Body: Clean-up operations, i.e., operations in which a “hazardous substance” is removed, contained, incinerated, neutralized, stabilized, cleared up or otherwise processed or handled “with the ultimate goal of making the site safer for people or the environment” that are required by a federal, state or local government body conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, including but not limited to EPA National Priority Site List (NPL), state priority site lists, sites recommended for the EPA NPL and initial investigation of government identified sites conducted before the presence or absence of hazardous substances has been ascertained.

RCRA Site Corrective Actions: Corrective actions taken at sites covered by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Voluntary Cleanup Operations at Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites: Operations in which a “hazardous substance” is removed, contained, incinerated, neutralized, stabilized, cleared up or otherwise processed or handled “with the ultimate goal of making the site safer for people or the environment” that are undertaken at sites recognized by the government as “uncontrolled hazardous waste sites,” i.e., areas with an accumulation of hazardous substances, e.g., surface impoundments, landfills, dumps, and tank or drum farms.

Emergency Response Operations: means a response effort by employees from outside the immediate release area or by other designated responders such as mutual aid groups, local fire departments, etc., to an occurrence resulting or likely to result in an uncontrolled release of a hazardous substance.

Response measures not covered by Hazwoper include:

  • Responses to incidental releases that can be absorbed, neutralized, or controlled at the time of release by employees in the immediate release area or maintenance personnel; and
  • Responses to releases of hazardous substances where there’s no potential safety or health hazard, i.e., fire, explosion, or chemical exposure.
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