All levels of employee training standards should meet the required associated regulatory agency minimums per applicable industry. Certain industrial facilities conducting operations involving hazardous waste are regulated under NFPA 472 and 29 CFR 1910.120. General emergency response training should be conducted for all on-site workers to provide them with the knowledge necessary to respond effective in a defensive fashion in the event of an emergency. Unless employees are specifically trained and qualified in more advanced hazardous spill response techniques, the typical employee’s trained response or function is to contain a release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and prevent exposures.
Training should familiarize general employees with emergency procedures, equipment, and systems. Covered topics should include, but are not limited to:
- Incident reporting
- Instruction and procedures for using personal protective and emergency equipment.
- Evacuation and alarm procedures.
- Specific roles and responsibilities in response to fires and explosions.
- An understanding of the role of the first responder in an emergency.
- Safe use of engineering controls and equipment.
Advanced specialized training consists of instruction and qualification for emergency response personnel through a coordinated program of classroom instruction, drills, and exercises. Specialized training includes, but is not limited to:
- Basic hazard and risk assessment techniques.
- Selection and use of proper personal protective equipment.
- Basic control, containment and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources available.
- Relevant standard operating procedures and termination procedures.
- Principles of the Incident Command System.
- First Responder Operations Level.
- Hazardous Materials Incident Commander.
Annual retraining should be conducted for both general and specialized training requirements. Annual refresher training should cover current industry and in-house emergency operating experience; changes in emergency operations plans, policies, procedures, and equipment. Additionally, annual training can highlight weaknesses identified through employee feedback and review of the program, drills, and exercises.
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download A Guide to HAZWOPER Training.