Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)

Published: | Updated: August 2, 2018

Definition - What does Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) mean?

Hazardous waste operation and emergency response (HAZWOPER) refers to a number of hazardous waste operations and emergency services provided. HAZWOPER is aimed to improve the capability of employees to react to emergencies caused by the accidental release of hazardous substances. It includes clean up procedures as well, as there are safety and health hazards associated with hazardous waste operations.

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Safeopedia explains Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)

The dumping of hazardous waste poses significant threats to the local and global environment. It is a severe health and safety issue that endangers life on Earth. Hazardous wastes, whether toxic, radioactive, flammable, corrosive, or explosive, indiscriminately pollutes soil, air and water etc.. Hazardous wastes, therefore, need to be properly treated, stored and disposed of, so that they are not unsafe for the environment and future life.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard, Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.120 to protect workers in this environment and to help them handle hazardous wastes safely and effectively. The scopes of the operation are:

  • Clean-up operations - by government agencies at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites
  • Corrective actions - clean up at sites as per Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Voluntary clean-up - clean up at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites declared by government. Clean up at RCRA licensed disposal facilities
  • Emergency response operations - for release of hazardous substances, regardless of the location
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