HR Management & Compliance

Computer-Based Training and HAZWOPER Requirements

Employers are continually seeking the simplest means to meet their employee training requirements under OSHA’s hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) regulations (29 CFR 1910.120). One method that may ease the burden is computer-based training, whether on CD, DVD, or online, which is increasingly available from commercial software vendors.

However, OSHA makes it clear that this type of training will not by itself substitute for live student-teacher training and hands-on exercises involving equipment and safe practices.

HAZWOPER was developed to provide protection to employees conducting cleanup or emergency response operations involving hazardous substances. Training requirements vary with the type of operation involved.

For example, for cleanups of uncontrolled hazardous waste operations (e.g., at Superfund sites), an employee must have a minimum of 40 hours of initial training and at least 3 days of actual field experience under a trained, experienced supervisor. Annual refresher training of 8 hours is required for regular site workers and managers.

For technicians who respond to stop the accidental release of a hazardous substance, the requirement is 24 hours of training if competency training is otherwise demonstrated.


Meet your OSHA-required 8-, 24-, or 40-hour HAZWOPER training requirements with 17 audio training sessions on one DVD plus a comprehensive training manual. To get your HAZWOPER Training Library, click here.


Other training requirements apply to first responders at the awareness level (individuals likely to witness or discover a hazardous substance release and initiate the emergency response); first responders at the operations level (individuals who respond for the purpose of protecting property or persons without actually trying to stop the release); hazardous materials specialists; and on-scene incident commanders.

OSHA concedes that self-paced, interactive computer-based training can be a valuable training tool. But OSHA also urges employers to be wary of relying solely on generic, packaged programs to meet training requirements.

The main concern is that this type of training does not address site-specific elements that should be tailored to workers’ assigned duties.

Also, OSHA believes that it is imperative that employees be able to operate cleanup equipment safely and effectively. The best way to achieve the necessary competency is to have employees become familiar with equipment and safe practices in a nonhazardous training setting.

The question then is just how many hours can employers who use computer-based training deduct from the minimum hourly training requirements specified under HAZWOPER? Unfortunately, OSHA hedges on its answer.

States OSHA: “[We do] not believe that the use of computer-based training will, in the majority of cases, enable trainees to achieve competency in substantially less time than the required minimum duration for training.”

Quantification of “substantially” in terms of actual hours will vary according to site conditions, the quality of instructor-led training, and how your OSHA inspector evaluates your overall training program.

Before relying on computer-based training for HAZWOPER compliance, we recommend that you call your local OSHA office to describe what you have in mind.


Jump-start your HAZWOPER training program with BLR’s HAZWOPER Training Library. You won’t find a more thorough and effective course! Learn more.


Rely on the Highest Level of HAZWOPER Training

If you’re looking for high-quality, highly effective HAZWOPER training materials, you are looking for BLR’s HAZWOPER Training Library. This unique program includes 17 audio training presentations on DVD plus a 200+-page HAZWOPER training manual with tests, handouts, completion certificates, and an electronic version of the manual so you can easily take everything from location to location even if you don’t want to carry the manual! The handy outline tells you exactly what to present and when to meet either the 8-, 24-, or 40-hour requirements!

With this program, you will:

  • Meet the 8-, 24-, and 40-hour HAZWOPER training requirements. Combine this comprehensive library with hands-on training to meet the 40-hour HAZWOPER training requirements. Train new employees, or meet refresher training requirements without hiring expensive outside trainers.
  • Save time and money with ready-to-use and accurate training materials.
  • Ensure your training is effective. Employees will learn how to recognize, properly handle, and dispose of hazardous materials with this invaluable HAZWOPER safety training.

The DVD includes:

  • Identifying Hazardous Materials
  • Hazardous Waste Introductory Training
  • Safe Chemical Handling
  • Respiratory Protection
  • HAZWOPER: On-Site Safety Considerations
  • Hazardous Waste Emergency Response
  • HAZWOPER: Facility Operations
  • HAZWOPER: First Awareness Level
  • HAZWOPER: Medical Surveillance Program
  • Understanding Chemicals Under GHS
  • PPE for Emergency Response
  • HAZWOPER: Donning/Doffing/Decontamination
  • Hazardous Materials Spill Cleanup
  • Working Safely with Flammable Liquids
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Emergency Action and Fire Prevention

Your 100% satisfaction is guaranteed. If, for any reason you are not completely satisfied with the HAZWOPER Training Program, simply let us know within 90 days, and we will issue you a complete refund. To find out how to order, click here.

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