40 Hour HAZWOPER Certification (OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120) - outline
Protection of Entry Personnel for a 40 hour HAZWOPER Site
The information from interview/records research and perimeter reconnaissance is used as the basis for selecting the protective equipment for the initial site survey. In addition, the proposed work to be accomplished must be considered. For example, if the purpose of the survey is to inspect onsite conditions, count containers, measure the ambient air for "hot spots" (i.e., areas with high concentrations of toxic chemicals) within the 40 hour hazwoper site, and generally become familiar with the site, the level of protection may be less stringent than if containers are to be opened and samples taken. (National Environmental Trainers, Inc., provides more detail on the selection of protective items.)
The ensemble of clothing and equipment referred to as Level B protection is generally the minimum level recommended for an initial entry until the site hazards have been further identified and the most appropriate protective clothing and equipment chosen. Level B equipment is described in the 40 hour HAZWOPER Training course.
The purpose of an onsite survey is to verify and supplement information from the offsite characterization. Prior to going on site, the offsite characterization should be used to develop a Site Safety Plan for site entry that addresses the work to be accomplished and prescribes the
procedures to protect the health and safety of the entry team. Priorities should be established for hazard assessment and site activities after careful evaluation of probable conditions. Because team members may be entering a largely unknown environment, caution and conservative
actions are appropriate. The composition of the entry team depends on the site characteristics but should always consist of at least four persons: two workers who will enter the site and two outside support persons, suited in personal protective equipment and prepared to enter the site in case of emergency.
Upon entering the site, entry personnel should:
· Monitor the air for IDLH and other conditions that may cause death or serious harm (combustible or explosive atmospheres, oxygen deficiency, toxic substances).
· Monitor for ionizing radiation. Survey for gamma and beta radiation with a Geiger-Mueller detection tube or a gamma scintillation tube; if alpha radiation is expected, use a proportional counter.
· Visually observe for signs of actual or potential IDLH or other dangerous conditions (see 40 hour HAZWOPER Certification for more info).
Any indication of IDLH hazards or other dangerous conditions should be regarded as a sign to proceed with care and deliberation. Extreme caution should be exercised in continuing the site survey when such hazards are indicated. The hazwoper certification provides provides some basic guidelines for decision-making.
As part of site characterization, workers suited in Level A protective ensembles work in pairs when investigating confined spaces. If IDLH or other dangerous conditions are not present, or if proper precautions can be taken, continue the survey:
· Conduct further air monitoring as necessary (see 40 hour hazwoper).
· Note the types of containers, impoundments, or other storage systems:
- Paper or wood packages.
- Metal or plastic barrels or drums.
- Underground tanks.
- Aboveground tanks.
- Compressed gas cylinders.
- Pits, ponds, or lagoons.
· Note the condition of waste containers and storage systems:
- Sound (undamaged).
- Visibly rusted or corroded.
- Types and quantities of material in containers.
- Labels on containers indicating corrosive explosive, flammable, radioactive or toxic materials.
· Note the physical condition of the materials:
- Gas, liquid, or solid.
- Color and turbidity.
- Behavior, e.g., corroding, foaming or vaporizing.
- Conditions conducive to splash or contact.
· Identify natural wind barriers:
· Determine the potential pathways of dispersion:
- Biologic routes, such as animals and food chains.
- Ground water.
- Land surface.
- Surface water.
· If necessary, use one or more of the following remote sensing or subsurface investigative methods to locate buried wastes or contaminant plumes:
- Electromagnetic resistivity.
- Seismic refraction.
- Metal detection.
- Ground-penetrating radar.
· Note any indicators of potential exposure to hazardous substances:
- Dead fish, animals or vegetation.
40 Hour HAZWOPER Training
40 Hour HAZWOPER Certification Course
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