First responders at the awareness level are individuals who are likely to witness or discover a hazardous substance release and who have been 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.
After initial training, first responders at the awareness level must receive annual refresher training or demonstrate competency at least annually, according to 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(8) for general industry or 29 CFR 1926.65(q)(8) for construction. While a refresher training duration is not specified in the regulation, annual refresher training must be of "sufficient content and duration" to maintain a responder's competencies. The employer must make a statement of the training or competency, and if a statement of competency is made, the employer must keep a record of the methodology used to demonstrate competency.
There are 3 online courses included within the HAZWOPER Emergency Response Refresher Training: Awareness-Level Responders Curriculum:
- Emergency Response Planning refreshes learners on what an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is, the basic elements of an ERP, employee roles in a response to a hazardous substance emergency release, and internal and external communications during an emergency.
- Chemical Fundamentals refreshes learners in how chemical-related terms are defined; the health and physical hazards, properties, stability, reactivity, and toxicity of chemicals; and the routes and types of chemical exposure.
- Hazardous Substance Recognition & Identification refreshes learners in the methods and resources available to help recognize and identify hazardous substances in an emergency. This course also re-familiarizes learners with the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), assessing hazards and risk in an emergency, and making initial decisions in an emergency.
Intended Audience: Any employees who may be involved or expected to engage in a response to an occurrence which results, or is likely to result, in an uncontrolled release of a hazardous substance. Specifically, this refresher training curriculum is geared for first responders at the awareness level.
Length: 2 hours
Copyright Date: 2019
NOTE: In OSHA's view, HAZWOPER online training, by itself, is not sufficient to meet the intent of the agency's training requirements for HAZWOPER, 29 CFR 1910.120 for general industry or 29 CFR 1926.65 for construction. Therefore, online training must be supplemented by site-specific elements, hands-on training and exercises, and an opportunity for trainees to ask questions of a qualified trainer.
When using this course curriculum as a tool to help with refresher training under §1910.120(q)(8)/§1926.65(q)(8), we suggest you:
- Ensure your trainer is qualified, in accordance with §1910.120(q)(7)/§1926.65(q)(7);
- Augment the online training with site-specific elements;
- Tailor your training to the employees' assigned duties;
- Include hands-on training to re-familiarize trainees with equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and safe practices;
- Provide trainees with immediate and direct access to a qualified trainer as they are taking the course curriculum;
- Offer an opportunity for trainees to ask questions of the qualified trainer;
- Ensure that the trainees receive refresher training with sufficient content and sufficient duration to maintain their competencies listed under §1910.120(q)(6)(i); and
- Ensure the employer makes a "statement of the training" in line with the requirements of §1910.120(q)(8)/§1926.65(q)(8). (NOTE: The online training course curriculum does not provide HAZWOPER certification or HAZWOPER statements of training; the online course curriculum certificate only acknowledges the completion of the online training itself).