Cleaning up hazardous materials requires the right skills so that you are able to deal with the mess rather than simply spread it around or make it worse. Standards for cleaning up hazardous materials evolved out of past mishaps and a desire to avoid future problems. Since companies are always trying to come out with new materials and products, new potentially hazardous materials are constantly coming out on the market necessitating the need to constantly update procedures for cleaning up messes. To make sure everything is handled correctly the government issues protocols, which are collectively known as Hazardous Material Operations and Emergency Response, or HAZWOPER.
The Need for Proper Training
If your company deals with hazardous materials, you need to make sure that at least some of your employees are properly trained in how to handle the materials, clean up messes, and dispose of byproducts. OSHA regulates these trainings to make sure that everyone gets the most up-to-date information. Thus, not only do people have to go through an initial training, but they have to go through yearly trainings to keep up to date. If, as an employee, you are looking to make yourself more attractive to potential employers -- or if you are looking to keep your employees properly trained as an employer -- then finding potential trainings is very important.
Where to Find Trainings
If you are an employee looking for trainings, some community colleges or labor unions will offer federally approved training. You can go to one of these two sources to receive your initial training as well as to do your yearly refresher course. If you are an employer hoping to keep your employees properly trained, you can work with a company that specializes in HAZWOPER training, such as National Environmental Trainers. You can contract with one of these companies to either send personnel to your place of business to train your employees, or you can purchase an online training program from them to train your employees on your own time.
Out of an effort to avoid damaging the environment as well as out of a need to avoid government fines, it is necessary to make sure that you stay caught up with HAZWOPER trainings. While paying for training represents an extra cost, paying to have your employees trained or to take your own trainings is much better than paying a federal fine or having your right to handle dangerous materials revoked.