The recent Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro spurred worldwide concerns for athletes, coaches and spectators alike for all aquatic participants. According to scientific research and reports, the waters off some of the most popular beaches were highly contaminated with sewage and debris which posed a danger to athletes partaking in water sports.
Situations like this bring to mind one question: who are the persons responsible for dealing with hazardous and toxic waste in a swift and efficient manner? Regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are cognizant of the need for 40 hour HAZWOPER training and mandate it in certain work environments.
HAZWOPER consists of five separate groups of employers and employees. These groups engage in operations including:
- Clean up of hazardous waste
- Curative actions subsequent to clean up at sites covered by RCRA
- Voluntary clean up at sites that are governmentally recognized
- Hazardous waste operations performed at storage or treatment facilities by RCRA
- Emergency response concerning threatening substances
The last category is the one which pertains those who will ultimately need a 40 hour HAZWOPER course before participating in these dangerous operations.
Emergency response officials and field technicians have a difficult task handling chemically unstable materials. Without a basic training curriculum it is difficult to get help for sudden situations. Books, manuals and videos pertaining to HAZWOPER training, as well as the computer classes, are a great way to educate those interested in this field. The computer training text meets the standard requirements of the OSHA and is particularly useful as an easy to use reference for field operations as well as an environmental textbook featuring courses in multiple areas. Such courses also cover multiple methods suggested by professional citizens and governing interventions making these aids highly beneficial to students.
Computer based training is available and it provides a wide range of topics as it deals with the question and answering process necessary for full training. The manual can be used as a supplement with computer training.
One of the most important topics covered in training is the possibility of encountering an IDLH atmosphere. An IDLH atmosphere is one that is dangerous to the point where the atmosphere or environment contains elements that can cause immediate death or permanent health issues. A perfect example of persons facing an IDLH atmosphere are the firefighters and rescue personal who assisted during the historic 9/11 situation.
The minimum amount of people necessary in an IDLH atmosphere is four; two inside the dangerous atmosphere and two covering the outside to handle the assistance and rescue operations. In situations such as natural disasters, oil spills and fires, it is easy to recognize the need for 40 hour HAZWOPER training.