Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)

Latest Developments…

    The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Feb. 28 began seeking participants for a study of potential adverse health effects experienced by cleanup workers who responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. NIEHS plans to contact more than 100,000 cleanup workers and residents in four states with hopes of enrolling approximately 55,000 in the study. Employers in hazardous waste operations and emergency response must establish medical surveillance programs for cleanup workers who have been exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances or health hazards above the permissible exposure limits for 30 days or more a year; exposed above the published exposure levels (if there is no permissible exposure limit for these substances) for 30 days or more a year; exposed to unexpected or emergency releases of hazardous wastes above exposure limits (without wearing appropriate protective equipment); or who show signs, symptoms, or illness that may have resulted from exposure to hazardous substances. Employers also must provide medical surveillance for members of hazardous materials teams as well as workers who wear approved respirators onsite for 30 or more days per year.
--Read more…in Safety Guide on HAZWOPER

Did you know…?
    Employers also must keep accurate records and reports on surveillance activities. Employees and their designated representatives as well as the assistant secretary of labor and designated representatives may request to copy or examine employee exposure and medical surveillance records and analyses of such information. Employers must honor requests to those granted the right to see such information under occupational safety and health regulations.
--You can find employer responsibilities for managing safety programs in Safety Guide.