The 5 Levels of HAZWOPER Emergency Response
When you are considering taking HAZWOPER courses there are a few things you need to know about especially if you are involved in volunteer cleanup activities and you’re going through the training on your own. When dealing with emergency response, here are the levels that are involved.
First Responder Awareness Level
This is a worker who is able to identify or discover any release of hazardous substances and has received training to quickly initiate emergency response actions by notifying proper authorities. However, said worker may not be able to take any further actions beyond informing or notifying the respective authorities. For this level, there is hourly training requirement that has been set. The worker needs to understand what hazardous substances are and the risks associated with them in the event of an accident. They should also realize the need for additional resources and make appropriate notifications to the communication centers.
First Responder Operation Level
These are the workers who respond to emissions, releases or possible releases in a manner regarded as defensive.They protect property, people, and even the environment from the adverse effects likely to be caused by the release of hazardous substances, without actually attempting to stop that release. The worker should have at least eight hours of initial training or have the experience to objectively show their competency at the awareness level. The training requirements are similar to those of First Responder Awareness Level. In addition, they need to know how to implement the employer or site specific emergency response plan.
Hazardous Material Technician Level
This level involves a worker who responds to the dangerous release or possible release and attempts to stop it. This worker should have had at least 24 hours of training equivalent to the First Responders Operation Level. The worker is required to be able to function within an assigned role in the incident command system and understand implementation, and decontamination procedures, as well as basic chemical terminology.
Hazardous Material Specialist
This is a worker with training similar to the HAZWOPER Hazardous Material Technician, however, the specialist is required to have greater knowledge of the chemicals to which he or she might respond. The workers are have required training that is comparable toHazardous Material Technician Level. The worker should also thoroughly understand hazard and risk techniques and he or she should be able to develop a site safety and control plan.
On-Scene Incident Commander
This is a worker who is equipped and trained to assume control of the area or scene and be in charge of an incident response at any time. The worker should have at least 24 hours of training. The requirements for this type of worker are same as those for the First Responder Operations Level. The worker should also be able to understand the kind of hazards or risks associated with employees who use chemical protective clothing.
If you are considering applying for a job that will require you to perform tasks consistent with those listed above then you will need to familiarize yourself with the different levels of HAZWOPER emergency response and you should be ready to go through the initial training so you can meet all requirements. Aim not only to promote safety and health but also to preserve and conserve the environment.