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How to Manage Preparedness Training for Multiple Downstream Facilties

Posted on Thu, Jul 03, 2014

Luck runs out, but safety is good for life.  ~Author Unknown

Whether an industrial facility is domestically located or abroad, ensuring compliance, employee safety, and an effective response requires a comprehensive training and exercise program. All training and exercise components within a corporate enterprise should address site-specific operations, appropriate response processes, standardized company-wide best practices, and maintain location-specific regulatory compliance.

The challenge of managing and ensuring compliant training programs for multiple facilities and various regulatory agencies is complex. Certification efforts, enforcement mandates, and costly non-compliance fines may result from the lack of implemented, thorough, or effective programs. By utilizing available technology to manage an enterprise-wide training approach, companies can verify compliance and response readiness through a cohesive, yet site-specific standardization of best practices.

Through proper maintenance of a training portal, individuals will remain at peak optimal response capabilities. Training should include, but not be limited to:

  • Response plan familiarization
  • Individual roles and responsibilities
  • Plan review training whenever a substantial change or revision is made to the plan that affects organization, procedures, roles and responsibilities, or response capability.
  • Refresher courses, as necessary

Mid to large size companies should implement a preparedness and response training management system with the ability to identify and sort specialized data. When a company has multiple facilities, a centralized web-based database of scheduled, lapsed, and completed training enable facility managers to focus their efforts on operations and profitability. With a comprehensive, web-based, database-driven training management system, emergency managers and health, safety, and environmental departments can:

  1. Simplify training reviews
  2. Easily identify training inception and expiration dates
  3. Verify responder knowledge and ensure employee accountability
  4. Identify regulatory compliance training gaps
  5. Account for preparedness endeavors and associated costs
  6. Ease maintenance and administrative efforts

For companies looking to systematically manage the training and development of their staff, an enterprise-wide training management system is critical. Managing several disparate systems and multiple paper files is cumbersome and time consuming. Maintaining training information in a single, consolidated system provides significant benefits. A web-based training management system provides authorized users with secured access from a variety of locations. As facilities are added or modified, operations are revised, or employees are re-assigned, training records can be conveniently added, accessed, transferred, or updated for accuracy and compliance. A comprehensive, web-based training management system will:

  • Reduce the need for multiple site training management and documentation
  • Minimize administrative costs
  • Minimize training discrepancies across an enterprise
  • Provide a historical record of training certifications
  • Streamline training directives from one source
  • Serve as a legal instrument, if necessary
  • Engage management in prioritizing preparedness efforts
  • Enhance reporting functionality
  • Identify regulatory compliance training gaps

Training administration can be time-consuming and difficult, particularly in medium to large companies with staff employed in different roles across a variety of physical locations. A customized training management system can streamline this administrative effort, making it easy to ensure staff members receive the appropriate training, and instructors are supported with the necessary resources. A comprehensive system can

  • Track and report training completion or status by discipline, skill, position, individual, location, or over a specific time period
  • Generate summary reports that provide a snapshot of various mandated training versus completed and scheduled events
  • Print automated certifications and wallet cards

Advanced web-based technologies can also facilitate online training and provide classroom resources. While it is not essential to implementing web-based training, it can reduce costs associated with classroom instruction.  Some web-based training solutions include tools to share critical training information and lesson plans with students, reducing the time required to duplicate and distribute training materials across an enterprise.

While optimizing training is critical for regulatory compliance and safety, cost is always a deciding factor. Implementing a customized training management system in highly regulated environments is a proactive, cost-savings measure that can reduce the overall costs associated with incidents, training maintenance, and non-compliance.

For a free download entitled, "Tips on How to Conduct an Effective Exercise", click the image below:

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Tags: OSHA, Training and Exercises, Workplace Safety, HAZWOPER, HSE Program

Advanced HAZWOPER Training Supports HAZMAT Responses

Posted on Mon, Aug 05, 2013

The intent of the OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response ) is to protect workers engaged in "Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances without regard to the location of the hazard." (29 CFR 1910.120(a)(1)(v)).  Employees who may be exposed to or respond to hazardous material emergencies are required by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to have specific HAZWOPER training.  

There are various OSHA training levels of HAZWOPER that are commensurate with the type of work and the potential involvement with hazardous materials. The HAZMAT technician and the HAZMAT specialist are to have significant knowledge of HAZMAT situations and can assist the incident commander in response assessments. Both the technician and specialist levels are required to initially complete, at a minimum, the 24-hour training HAZWOPER training. However, technician level responders vastly outnumber specialist level responders, and are the most frequent personnel in handling HAZMAT incidents.

Trained HAZMAT technicians are individuals who respond to releases or potential releases for the purpose of stopping the release. These individuals assume a more aggressive role than an operational level first responder in that they are trained to approach the point of release in order to plug, patch, or otherwise stop the release of a hazardous substance. HAZMAT technicians may not be classified as scientific experts; however, most have an understanding of chemistry that may range from basic to advanced.

The HAZMAT technicians must demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • Implementation of the employer's emergency response plan.
  • Classification, identification and verification of known and unknown materials through the use of specialized equipment.
  • Functioning within an assigned role in the Incident Command System.
  • Selecting and using proper specialized chemical personal protective equipment provided to the hazardous materials technician.
  • Hazard and risk assessment techniques.
  • Performing advanced control, containment, and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and personal protective equipment available with the unit.
  • Understanding and implementing decontamination procedures.
  • Understanding termination procedures.
  • Understanding basic chemical and toxicological terminology and behavior.

On average, HAZMAT technicians complete 40-hours of training. Certified technicians new to a site must receive appropriate, site-specific training before site entry and have appropriate supervised field experience at the new site. Equivalent training includes any academic training or the training that existing employees might have already received from actual hazardous waste site experience.

The HAZMAT specialist receives the highest level of HAZWOPER training. The specialist typically responds with and supports the duties of hazardous materials technicians. These individuals’ duties parallel those of the technician; yet require a greater knowledge of the various substances they may be called to contain. HAZMAT specialists often act as a site liaison with Federal, State, Local and other government authorities in regards to site activities.

The HAZMAT specialist must demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • Implementation of their employer’s emergency response plan.
  • Classification, identification and verification of known and unknown materials by using advanced survey instruments and equipment.
  • Knowledge of the state emergency response plan.
  • Selecting and using proper specialized chemical personal protective equipment provided to the hazardous materials specialist.
  • Detailed hazard and risk assessment techniques.
  • Performing specialized control, containment, and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and personal protective equipment available.
  • Implementing decontamination procedures.
  • Developing a site safety and control plan.
  • Understanding chemical, radiological and toxicological terminology and behavior.

The Specialist responder typically has an in-depth and highly advanced level of knowledge in chemistry, biology or some other discipline of science. According to FEMA the HAZMAT specialist is responsible for:

  • Providing ongoing monitoring of local environmental conditions during operations.
  • Providing an initial and ongoing survey for presence of hazardous materials at search and rescue sites.
  • Implementing defensive mitigation practices when indicated.
  • Directing emergency decontamination procedures for any task force member or victim.·
  • Providing assistance to medical personnel for  chemical exposure and injuries.
  • Documenting all related information.
  • Adhering to all safety procedures.
  • Accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs for all issued equipment.
  • Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission.
  • Ensuring MSDS are provided for all hazardous materials carried or used by the task force.
  • Ensuring all specialized equipment is maintained and calibrated according to the manufacturers’ specifications.

Although HAZMAT specialists are required to initially pass the 24-hour HAZWOPER training, most specialists have completed university-level courses. A HAZMAT specialist often holds a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, chemistry, biology, or other science related field.  It is not uncommon for a specialist level responder to have an advanced degree.

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Tags: OSHA HAZWOPER, Training and Exercises, Workplace Safety, HAZWOPER, Chemical Industry, OSHA HAZWOPER standard training

Safety Training Through HAZWOPER Certification

Posted on Thu, Jul 25, 2013

America’s largest retail store was recently fined $81 million for improper handling of hazardous wastes and pesticides. The chain did not have a store level safety program in place to train its employees on proper hazardous waste management and disposal practices. As a result, hazardous wastes were transported without proper documentation or improperly discarded, including being put into municipal trash bins or poured into the local sewer system.

From manufacturing facilities to store fronts, hazardous substances can be found in an array of company locations. Facility safety training should incorporate processes and procedures applicable to hazardous material interactions and disposal. Unless handled by training individuals and disposed of properly, hazardous material can create health risks for people and damage the environment.

If a site houses hazardous material, HAZWOPER training may be necessary. The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) applies to specific groups of employers and their employees. Employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances, including hazardous waste, are required to obtain -Online Training.

There are various Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) training levels of HAZWOPER that are commensurate with the type of work and the potential involvement with hazardous materials. The following two levels of HAZWOPER training apply to employees that will not assume the aggressive role of attempting to plug, patch, or otherwise stop the release of a hazardous substance.

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Awareness Level

According to OSHA, the first responders at the “awareness level” must demonstrate competency in areas such as recognizing the presence of hazardous materials in an emergency, the risks involved, and the role they play in their employer’s plan.

This level is applicable for persons who, in the course of their normal duties, could be the first on the scene of an emergency involving hazardous materials. Responders at the awareness level are expected to recognize the presence of hazardous materials, protect themselves, call for trained personnel, and secure the area without engagement.

Individual companies can set their own hourly training requirements, however, employees must be capable of demonstrating the following:

  • Understanding what a hazardous substance is, and associated risks
  • Understanding potential outcomes associated with an emergency involving hazardous substances
  • Ability to recognize the presence of hazardous substances during  an emergency
  • Ability to identify the hazardous substances, if possible
  • Understanding the role of the first responder awareness individual in the employer's emergency response plan, including site security and control and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Emergency Response Guidebook
  • Ability to recognize the need to make appropriate notifications for additional resources

Operations Level

Operations level responders meet and exceed the competency level of the awareness responder. Operational responders are trained to respond in a defensive fashion without actually trying to terminate the release. Their function is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and prevent exposures.

These trained responders are part of the initial response to the incident for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, the environment, and/or property from the effects of the release. Operations may receive additional training in HAZMAT/CBRNE defensive techniques of absorption, damming and diking, diverting, retention, vapor dispersion and suppression. They may also train in basic decontamination procedures and PPE.

First responders at the operational level should complete the 8-hour HAZWOPER training course or sufficient experience to objectively demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • Basic hazard and risk assessment techniques
  • Selection and use of proper personal protective equipment provided to the first responder operational level
  • Basic hazardous materials terms
  • Basic control, containment and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of available resources and personal protective equipment
  •  Implementation of basic decontamination procedures
  • Relevant standard operating and termination procedures
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Tags: OSHA HAZWOPER, OSHA, Training and Exercises, Safety, HAZWOPER, OSHA HAZWOPER standard training

Hazardous Material Incident Management

Posted on Mon, May 06, 2013

Hazardous materials become most hazardous when they are released. The potential risks associated with hazardous material releases heighten the need for risk-based decision making. As a result, hazardous material incident management should reflect site specific planning, training, and exercises that minimize hazardous material impacts and restrict potential chaos.

  • Response plans should clearly dictate processes and procedures that minimize hazardous material impacts.
  • Training must be aligned with response roles and responsibilities, facility operations, and regulatory requirements. (see Hazard Communication Standard - 29 CFR1910.1200)
  • Exercises should include hazardous material release scenarios that allow response team members to collaborate and communicate assigned roles, responsibilities, and required actions in response to one or more site specific scenarios.

“Hazardous Materials” is a general term intended to mean hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants as defined by the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). The term includes blood borne pathogens and infectious disease as defined by OSHA's Blood borne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030).

The potential for harm to individuals, the environment, or the facility may be escalated due to the release of certain hazardous materials. However, expedient and safe cleanup operations can minimize exposures and limit the impact of an incident. Hazardous substance releases must be removed, contained, incinerated, neutralized, or stabilized with the ultimate goal of making the site safer for people or the environment.

Identifying the potential threats and probable incident scenarios enables proper pre-planning. Response procedures and processes can be incorporated into the site-specific plans to proactively facilitate corrective actions in the event of a hazardous release. The following hazardous material incident management concepts should be considered and incorporated in planning, training, and exercising a response:

  • Proper PPE for employees, contractors, and responders
  • Specific waste handling procedures and, if applicable, appropriate contractors
  • Disposal plan in accordance with any federal, state, and/or local regulations
  • Facility-specific disposal locations for different types of materials
  • Continuous tracking of hazardous materials quantities to better estimate amount of waste generated
  • Methods and procedures for waste collection, segregation, storage, transportation, and proper disposal
  • Regulatory review of applicable laws to ensure compliance and appropriate permitting
  • Documentation of all waste handling and disposal activities

From the onset of an incident involving hazardous materials, incident managers should establish specific, measurable objectives for functional response activities. Incident Action Plans (IAPs) are used to guide hazardous response activities and provide a concise means of capturing and communicating the incident manager’s priorities, objectives, strategies, protocol, and tactics  for both operational and support activities.

The incident manager must manage all resources, both internal and external. Unless, a facility has a dedicated, trained, and certified response team, external responders should be identified for hazardous material response operations support. However, the incident manager must maintain clear communication of response objectives as to eliminate confusion caused by multiple, conflicting directives and authorities.

The level of detail required in IAPs  varies with each scenario. However, plans should facilitate the sharing of critical incident status information. Because hazardous material incident parameters may continually evolve, IAPs must be revised on a regular basis (at least once per operational period) to maintain consistent, up-to-date guidance for incoming responders or management.

At each phase of a response, the incident manager should perform critical assessments and specify clear operational objectives to responsible parties, eliminating potential confusion caused by multiple, conflicting directives and authorities. Through proper preparedness planning and cleanup and disposal procedures, hazardous material management planning can limit environmental liability, and as an effect, minimize additional immediate and long-term financial burdens.

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Tags: HAZCOM, ICS, Emergency Management Program, HAZWOPER

Emergency Response Exercises and HAZWOPER Training

Posted on Thu, Apr 18, 2013

A recently released study entitled Staging and Performing Emergencies: The Role of Exercises in UK Preparedness states that comprehensive exercises are essential for an effective response to various types of emergencies. Just as incidents vary in scale, duration, and complexity, training and response exercises need to be inclusive of site specific threats and risks. Authors Dr Ben Anderson and Dr Peter Adey of the report told  Science Omega magazine that there are three core reasons why exercises are beneficial and increase the likelihood of an effective response.

  1. Collaboration Rehearsal: Exercises enable separate organizations to collaborate in a real-world simulation of an incident. Organizations that operate separately on a day-to-day basis must collaborate on procedures that would be necessary in an actual emergency. Dr. Anderson states, “Exercises allow organizations the opportunity to work together, both formally, in terms of enabling various protocols or communication procedures to be used, and informally, in terms of getting to know the organizational culture of other bodies”.
  2. Test strategies and plans: Exercises allow the various strategic response components to be tested. Through real-world exercise scenarios, companies can evaluate procedures and plans before the real event.
  3. Confirm roles and responsibilities: Exercises reveal response competencies. Employees and responders must have a thorough understanding of required roles and responsibilities in order to react effectively, make timely decisions, and perform appropriate actions within high-pressure emergency situations.

Response plan exercises may incorporate on-site operational responders. The typical staffed operational responder is trained for defensive reactions, not to terminate the release. Their main function is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading and prevent exposures. The ability to terminate a release may require a higher level of training.

A response effort by trained emergency personnel or other designated responders (i.e., fire brigade, mutual aid groups, local fire departments), would then go into effect. An event that requires outside emergency assistance can be, but is not limited to, an uncontrolled release of a hazardous material, fire, explosion, and serious injury or illness to personnel where there is a potential risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens.

If a facility has hazardous material on-site, HAZWOPER training may be necessary. The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) applies to specific groups of employers and their employees. Employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances, including hazardous waste, are required to obtain HAZWOPER training.

OHSA mandates that individuals who work in the following areas must complete the standard HAZWOPER training.

  • General site workers: Individuals, such as equipment operators, general laborers and supervisory personnel, who are engaged in hazardous substance removal or other activities which expose or potentially expose workers to hazardous substances and health.
  • Operations crew: Individuals involved in hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities regulated by 40 CFR Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to RCRA; or by agencies under agreement with U.S.E.P.A. to implement RCRA regulations.
  • Emergency response operations team: Those directly involved in responding to the releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard.

There are various training levels with HAZWOPER. Training levels should reflect the type of work and the potential hazard involved in the work.

  • 40-hour HAZWOPER Training: Those individuals directly involved in the cleaning up of hazardous materials, its storage, or its transportation should take the 40-hour HAZWOPER course. The 40 hour course is required for the safety of workers at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
  • 24-hour HAZWOPER Training: Appropriate training for those who are less directly involved with uncontrolled hazardous waste sites (such as, but not limited to, ground water monitoring, land surveying, or geophysical surveying).
  • 8-hour HAZWOPER Training: Managers are required to attain the same level of training (either the 40-hour or 24-hour training) as those they supervise, and an additional 8 hours.

There are numerous sources for OSHA-based HAZWOPER training, from community colleges to private consultants. However, companies must insure that the trainer teaches the required material and provides certification to the students. The certification is assigned to the employee, not the employer. Because of this, individuals must receive the full training mandated, not just those areas that are covered at the current work site.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Tips for Effective Exercises.

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Tags: OSHA HAZWOPER, OSHA, Training and Exercises, HAZWOPER, OSHA HAZWOPER standard training

Hazardous Material Spill Planning: Declaration of Emergency Response

Posted on Mon, Apr 08, 2013

In 2012, The National Response Center (NRC) received 33,551 reports of oil or hazardous materials incidents. The NRC, which is managed by the U.S. Coast Guard, is responsible for receiving reports of oil or hazardous substance spills, and disseminating the information to the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC).

The criteria for reporting incidents regarding oil or hazardous material spills are included in 40 CFR 110 for oil discharges, and 40 CFR 117 and 40 CFR 302, for hazardous substances discharges:

40 CFR 110.6: Any person in charge of a vessel or of an onshore or offshore facility shall, as soon as he or she has knowledge of any discharge of oil from such vessel or facility in violation of section 311(b)(3) of the Act, immediately notify the National Response Center (NRC).

40 CFR 117.21: Any person in charge of a vessel or an onshore or an offshore facility shall, as soon as he has knowledge of any discharge of a designated hazardous substance from such vessel or facility in quantities equal to or exceeding in any 24-hour period the reportable quantity determined by this part, immediately notify the appropriate agency of the United States Government of such discharge.

40 CFR 302.6: Any person in charge of a vessel or an offshore or an onshore facility shall, as soon as he or she has knowledge of any release (other than a federally permitted release or application of a pesticide) of a hazardous substance from such vessel or facility in a quantity equal to or exceeding the reportable quantity determined by this part in any 24-hour period, immediately notify the National Response Center

If there is doubt or uncertainty regarding the need for a declaration of an emergency response, the situation should be reported immediately per the company’s emergency reporting procedures. Factors that indicate if a spill or release requires an emergency response include, but are not limited to, whether:

  • Employees evacuate the area.
  • External response specialists are required.
  • There is potential danger to life and health.
  • There is a serious threat of fire and explosion.
  • There may be high levels of exposure to toxic substances.
  • Employees have adequate training or equipment to respond given the severity of the hazards, and/or the exposure limit could be exceeded.
  • There is adequate information to assess the situation.

Hazardous materials spills and releases that require emergency response actions are subject to the HAZWOPER Standard, and require that non-emergency personnel evacuate the immediate area. Per HAZWOPER, operational responders are trained to respond in a defensive fashion without actually trying to terminate the release. Their function is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and minimize exposures.

According to OSHA, the following circumstances do not warrant an emergency response:

29 CFR 1910.120(a)(3)): Responses to individual releases where the substance can be absorbed, neutralized, or otherwise controlled by employees in the immediate release area, or by maintenance personnel, are not emergency responses. Responses where there is no potential health or safety hazard are not emergency releases. Such events are typically small in volume, have little potential for human exposure, and involve materials of law toxicity.

29 CFR 1910.1200: If the hazardous substances that are in the work area are always stored in very small quantities, and the hazardous substances do not pose a significant safety and health threat at that volume, then the risks of having a release that escalates into an emergency are minimal. In this setting, the majority of releases are incidental, and employees should be trained to protect themselves in handling incidental releases per the training requirements of the Hazard Communication standard.

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.

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Tags: Oil Spill, Training and Exercises, Workplace Safety, HAZWOPER

Material Safety Data Requirements for Emergency Planning

Posted on Thu, Feb 02, 2012

Accurate Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) need to be available to employees and  potential  responders. There is the potential that the MSDSs will not be useful to local response groups unless they are familiar with the presented information.  Understanding this information will assist responders in assessing hazards assessment for pre-emergency planning or actual response to an emergency.

According to Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

  • The Chemical Sampling Information (CSI) file contains listings for approximately 1500 substances
  • The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substances Inventory lists information on more than 62,000 chemicals or chemical substances
  • Some chemical libraries maintain files of material safety data sheets (MSDS) for more than 100,000 substances.

The number of chemicals is growing on a daily basis. The Chemical Abstract Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society has registered more than 62 million substances. According CAS’s website, “The CAS registry is a collection of disclosed unique organic and inorganic substances, such as alloys, coordination compounds, minerals, mixtures, polymers, and salts, and more than 62 million sequences.”

The Beginning the Hazard Analysis Process, which was originally published as part of the Hazardous Materials Response Handbook (third edition) states, “a first responder might
reasonably be expected to encounter any of 1.5 million of these chemicals in an emergency, with 33,000 to 63,000 of them considered hazardous. To complicate matters, these hazardous chemicals are known by 183,000 different names. Fortunately, not all of these chemicals are equally common.”

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) specifies required information that must be included on MSDSs. The standard states that “chemical manufacturers and importers shall obtain or develop a material safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. Employers shall have a material safety data sheet in the workplace for each hazardous chemical which they use.”

OSHA requires that each MSDS must contain the following sections, written in English:

  1. Manufacturer's Name and Contact Information, including emergency numbers and addresses.
  2. Hazardous Ingredients/Identity Information, including chemical name, formula, common name, chemical family and associated synonyms. 
  3. Physical/Chemical Characteristics, including detailed chemical properties
  4. Fire and Explosion Hazard Data
  5. Reactivity Data
  6. Health Hazard Data
  7. Precautions for Safe Handling and Use,  including spill and leak procedures
  8. Control Measures, includng special protection information and  precautions

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved an alternative format and published a standard Z400.1-1993, "American National Standard for Hazardous Industrial Chemicals-Material Safety Data Sheets-Preparation."

The following are standards set forth by ANSI. However, OSHA requirements must be included in the MSDS in order to meet compliance requirements.

Section 1. Chemical Product & Company Information
Section. 2. Composition/Information on Ingredients
Section. 3. Hazards Identification
Section. 4. First Aid Measures
Section. 5. Fire Fighting Measures
Section. 6. Accidental Release Measures
Section. 7. Handling and Storage
Section. 8. Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Section. 9. Physical and Chemical Properties
Section. 10. Stability and Reactivity
Section. 11. Toxicological Information
Section. 12. Ecological Information
Section. 13. Disposal Considerations
Section. 14. Transport Information
Section. 15. Regulatory Information
Section. 16. Other Information

For an understanding of the necessary elements in creating an effective fire pre plan, download our Fire Pre Planning Guide.

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Tags: Radiation, OSHA HAZWOPER, OSHA, Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Management Program, Terrorism Threat Management, HAZWOPER, Chemical Industry

Hazardous Materials Response Team Training Requirements

Posted on Mon, Jan 30, 2012

A Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Response team is comprised of hazardous material experts who specialize in detecting, containing, and removing any release or potential release of hazardous substances in order to control or stabilize an incident. According to the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER), a HAZMAT team “is not a fire brigade, nor is a typical fire brigade termed a HAZMAT team. However, a HAZMAT team is often a separate component of a fire brigade or fire department.”

The acronym  HAZMAT refers to any substance (gas, liquid or solid) capable of creating harm to people, the environment, or property. It is often used when discussing the production, transport, use, disposal, cleanup, or emergency response of hazardous materials.

HAZWOPER is one of the training components of a HAZMAT team. The intent of the HAZWOPER standard is to protect workers engaged in "Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances without regard to the location of the hazard." (29 CFR 1910.120(a)(1)(v)).

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According to the HAZMAT Team Planning Guide of the EPA’s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, a HAZMAT Team should be trained to the “Hazardous Materials Technician” level defined by NFPA Standard 472 and HAZWOPER 29 CFR 1910.120.

HAZMAT Training Regulations

HAZMAT employees, that may or may not be part of a HAZMAT team, must be trained, at a minimum, in accordance with:

Records need to be maintained for all employees that have been, or will be trained before handling hazardous materials, in accordance with the training requirements set forth in 49 CFR §172.704 and 172.602, and 29 CFR §1910.120 and 1910.1200.

Click the image below for a free Response Procedures Flow Chart:

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Tags: HAZCOM, PHMSA, OSHA HAZWOPER, Training and Exercises, Emergency Management Program, Disaster Recovery, HAZWOPER, OSHA HAZWOPER standard training, Fire Department HAZWOPER training

Seven HAZWOPER Training Categories and Response Capabilities

Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2012

Employees who may respond to hazardous material emergencies are required by OSHA to have HAZWOPER training.  HAZWOPER, short for the OSHA initiated Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard, communicates the required training associated with operations and potential spills or releases. The intent of the HAZWOPER standard is to protect workers engaged in "Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances without regard to the location of the hazard." (29 CFR 1910.120(a)(1)(v)).

Paragraph (q) of HAZWOPER lists seven emergency responder training categories that require training under the regulation.

1. Skilled support personnel (q)(4):

  • Personnel, not necessarily an employer's own employees, who may temporarily perform immediate emergency support work that cannot reasonably be performed in a timely fashion by an employer's own employees
  • Contracted or temporary personnel who will be or may be exposed to the hazards at an emergency response scene
  • Require an initial briefing at the site prior to their participation in any emergency response to include:
    • Instruction in the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment
    • Chemical hazards involved
    • Duties are to be performed
    • All other appropriate safety and health precautions provided to the employer's own employees shall be used to assure the safety and health of these personnel.

2. Specialist employees (q)(5):

  • Regular job duties include working with and are trained in the hazards of specific hazardous substances
  • May be called upon to provide technical advice or assistance at a hazardous substance release incident to the individual in charge
  • Receives trainingor demonstrate competency in the area of their specialization annually.

3. First responder awareness level (q)(6):

  • Individuals likely to witness or discover a hazardous substance release
  • Trained to initiate an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of the release. They would take no further action beyond notifying the authorities of the release.

4. First responder operations level (q)(6):

  • Individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release.
  • Trained to respond defensively from a safe distance to minimize spreading and prevent exposures, without actually trying to stop the release.

5. HAZMAT technician (q)(6):

  • Individuals who respond to releases or potential releases for the purpose of stopping the release.
  • Trained to approach the point of release in order to plug, patch or otherwise stop the release of a hazardous substance.

6. HAZMAT specialist (q)(6):

  • Individuals who respond with and provide support to hazardous materials technicians.
  • Duties, which parallel those of the hazardous materials technician, require a more directed or specific knowledge of the various substances they may be called upon to contain.
  • May act as site liaison with Federal, state, local and other government authorities in regards to site activities.

7. On-scene incident commander (q)(6):

  • Individuals who will assume control of the incident scene beyond the first responder awareness level.

For a free guide that details the world of HAZWOPER training, download A Guide to HAZWOPER Training.

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Tags: Emergency Response, OSHA HAZWOPER, Incident Management, Training and Exercises, Facility Management, Emergency Management Program, Disaster Response, HAZWOPER, OSHA HAZWOPER standard training

4 Common Tabletop Exercise Objectives

Posted on Mon, Oct 24, 2011

Environmental, Health, and Safety departments have regulatory requirements to schedule, coordinate, and document response exercises to satisfy industry-specific regulations. In preparation for these exercises, companies should develop exercise planning documents, including participants' and controllers' packages that contain exercise objectives, scenarios,  ground rules, and simulation scripts. These guidelines should be provided to all participants prior to the exercise.

Common tabletop exercise objectives

1. Practice application of National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS):

  • The Incident Management Team (IMT) should demonstrate a proficiency in utilizing the forms, processes, and terminology of the ICS to respond to the scenario. 

2. Demonstrate a functional understanding of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Incident Management Team (IMT) organizations.

  • The ERT and the IMT should have a clear understanding of their specific roles and responsibilities. Gaps in training should be identified and follow-up action taken to ensure that these gaps are addressed.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the Unified Common organization(s), and general responsibilities and expectation of the company.

  • The ERT and IMT should have a clear understanding of the capabilities of each outside responding organization. Communication processes, response methods, roles and responsibilities, and available equipment should be identified and confirmed. for the applicable scenario.

4. Demonstrate the ability to document and communicate actions, management decision, and track resources, using standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms and the Emergency response Plan (ERP).

  • Participants should record processes and implemented procedures per regulatory requirement and company standards. Documentation can be used for response assessments, team reviews, and to create action items to improve follow-up and the emergency response plan.

For a free guide that details the world of HAZWOPER training, download A Guide to HAZWOPER Training.

HAZWOPER training guide

Tags: Emergency Preparedness, Training and Exercises, Facility Management, Emergency Management Program, Disaster Recovery, Emergency Action Plan, HAZWOPER