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HAZWOPER Training: The Benefits of Being Prepared

Springfield Sewer and Water Commission employees learning how to properly put on and seal their protective suits.

Tighe & Bond Senior Environmental Compliance Specialist Dan Williams recently led a 24-hour HAZWOPER class in Westfield, Massachusetts. This class trained employees from the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission at their West Parish Filters Water Treatment Plant. What will attending HAZWOPER training do for you? Dan breaks down the impact of this training below.

What is HAZWOPER training?

HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training. This form of training allows those taking the class to have a thorough understanding of the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.120.

Who should take this training?

This training is beneficial to anyone who works on a site that could release or has the potential to release hazardous chemicals that could impact their personal safety, the environment, or property.

What do attendees learn?

During the HAZWOPER training for the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission participants were trained in the following areas:

Employees practicing the Incident Command System.

  • Emergency action plans: Having an emergency action plan is an OSHA requirement for nearly every business or municipality. During HAZWOPER training, participants review their specific plan to learn evacuation procedures, spill clean-up procedures, how to effectively rely on internal and external resources, and which business leaders and regulators to contact in an emergency.
  • The Incident Command System: This emergency management system is tailored to fit the needs of your team and your site. The system outlines the hierarchy of command and helps to ensure that all employees are accounted for during an emergency.
  • Practice suiting up to respond to chemical spills: HAZWOPER training instructs students on matching their safety gear to the anticipated hazards in order to provide the highest (and most appropriate) level of protection. Participants also practice putting on the protective suits, how to seal them properly, and how to remove them properly to avoid contamination.

After the initial HAZWOPER training is conducted, workers are required to take an 8-hour refresher course each year.


Dan Williams is a Senior Environmental Compliance Specialist with 30 years of experience in industrial health and safety. He is a Certified Instructional Trainer through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Dan’s expertise includes development and support for process safety management, risk management programs, Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) audits and various OSHA, EPA, and state environmental compliance standards.