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40-Hour Hazardous Waste Site Curriculum

40-Hour Hazardous Waste Site Worker Training Certification - Curriculum

Curriculum Components

  1. TNEC developed Student Manual for this course, one per student, which contains 15 tab divided sections and three appendices as follows: Chapter 1- Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety, Chapter 2- Rights and Responsibilities, Chapter 3- Chemical Hazards,  Chapter 4- Air Monitoring, Chapter 5- Toxic Properties of Chemicals, Chapter 6- Respiratory Protection, Chapter 7- Non-Chemical Hazards, Chapter 8- Chemical Protective Clothing,  Chapter 9- Decontamination, Chapter 10- Materials Sampling and Handling, Chapter 11- Site Control, Chapter 12- Emergency Response, Chapter 13- Confined Space Entry, Chapter 14- Review Activity, Chapter 15- The “Incident, Appendix A- Sources of Information, Appendix B- Glossary and, Appendix C- Reprint of 29 CFR 1910.120.
    • The following loose inserts are also included with each manual: DOT Chart 10-Hazardous Materials Marking, Labeling & Placarding Guide and MSDS copies for: Hydrochloric Acid, 35-40%, Sodium Hydroxide, 90-100%, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane and Safety Kleen #6861 Cleaner 
  2. Course agenda, 1/student (Note: See page five of this course description for typical agenda.) 
  3. NIOSH Pocket Guide, one per student 
  4. North American Emergency Response Guidebook, one per student 
  5. Five 3-ring binders, 1 per small group of students, containing selected vendor literature, for reference: Chemical Protective Clothing and Glove compatibility, permeation and selection; Respirator cartridge selection; Survivair self contained breathing apparatus inspection, operation and maintenance. 
  6. Video tapes: 
    • Hazardous Properties of Chemicals, IAFF Training for Hazmat Team Members 
    • General Chemical, Richmond, CA, Oleum Leak (re: Chemical Protective Clothing) 
    • Drum Handling, Coastal (re: Drum handling and sampling) 
    • Spills Happen, BNA (re: Containing and controlling spills) 
    • DECON, Working In the Hazard Zone, BNA (re: Decontamination) 
    • RockBolts, KPAC (re: Noise on the job, a non-chemical hazard) 
    • Toluene Tank Explosion (re: Confined Space Entry and Emergency Response)
  7. TNEC developed Computer-Based Hazardous Waste Site Simulation
  8. Game: Toxic Jeopardy 
  9. Final Exam, 1/student

Learning Objectives & Performance Measures

(By Module, In Order Presented)

[“TTA” = Table  Activity, “RP” = Role Play and “HOA” = Hands-On Activity included.] 


Day 1/Module 1: Introduction - Chapter 1 In Student Manual 

Trainers introduce themselves to the class indicating their backgrounds, current affiliation with the TNEC training program, interests relative to health and safety and any areas of expertise that they are willing to share with students. Students introduce themselves to the others present and give a brief summary of the type of work they have done or would like to do, a workplace about which they are concerned, their reason for attending this training and any expectations beyond receiving a certificate of training.

Learning Objectives: The history of the fight for healthy and safe work; and, How so many hazardous waste sites were created after World War II.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Identify two or three of the most dangerous hazards in their workplace; Explain three historical factors that led to the OSHAct; and, Discuss the range of skills and experiences of all those in the class. (TTA)


Day 1/Module 2: Rights and Responsibilities – Chapter 2 in Student Manual

Learning Objectives: The basics of occupational health and safety rights; The role of environmental laws in protecting worker health and safety; The importance of hazardous waste regulations as tools for worker protection; What each part of 29CFR1910.120 is about, and; The importance of workers’ compensation systems and their limitations.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: List two federal agencies that protect hazardous waste site workers’ health and safety and discuss ways of using these agencies; List two environmental laws and summarize their goals; List two functions of OSHA; List three rights workers have under the OSHAct; Explain which sections of 29CFR1910.120 apply to their work; and, List two limitations of the workers’ compensation system. (1 of 2 TTA or 1 RP)


Day 1/Module 3: HASP/Site Characterization – Chapter 3 In Student Manual, pgs. 1-25, and PC based Hazardous Waste Site Simulation, Parts 1-3

Learning Objectives: The parts of the AREC model; The differences between safety and health hazards; The regulations concerning the written health and safety plan; The steps in site characterization; and, How to recognize chemical hazards;

Performance Measures: Students are able to describe the AREC model and apply it to hazardous waste site work; List the main legal requirements for the site safety and health plan (HASP); List six clues for identifying hazardous chemicals; Gather information and develop a list of hazards that the Preliminary HASP for the simulated site will need to address. (TTA)


Day 1/Module 4: Chemical Hazards – Chapter 3 In Student Manual, pgs. 25-41

Learning Objectives: The hazardous properties of chemicals. 

Performance Measures: Students will be able to: List three hazardous properties of chemicals; and, Look up the physical properties of chemicals using the NIOSH Pocket Guide. (TTA)


Day 1/Module5: Exposure Limits – Chapter 5 In Student Manual, pgs.15-19

Learning Objectives: The definition of exposure guidelines (IDLH, TLV, PEL, REL)

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Explain the strengths and weaknesses of exposure limits.


Day2/Module 1: Toxic Properties of Chemicals – Chapter 5 In Student Manual, pgs. 1-14

Learning Objectives: The routes of entry of toxins and the overall effects (acute and chronic) of toxins on the body.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: List three routes of entry of toxins into the body; State the difference between an acute and a chronic exposure; and, Look up the health hazards of many chemicals in the NIOSH Pocket Guide. (2 TTA)


Day 2/Module 2: Air Monitoring Instruments – Chapter 4 In Student Manual

Learning Objectives: The reasons for doing air monitoring at hazardous waste sites; The importance of having an air monitoring plan; The various types of air monitoring equipment available; The use and limitations of air monitoring equipment; an, The need for proper training in selection, use and care of air monitoring equipment.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: List two reasons for doing air monitoring on a hazardous waste site; List two common units used to measure contaminant concentrations in air; List three things that should be considered in an air monitoring plan; List three instruments used for measuring contaminant concentrations in air; Identify two instruments commonly used for detecting organic vapors on hazardous waste sites; Identify whether or not an instrument is “intrinsically safe”; and, State the EPA action levels for combustible and oxygen deficient atmospheres.


Day2/Module 3: Respiratory Protection – Chapter 6 In Student Manual

Learning Objectives: The purpose of respiratory protection; The importance of effective respirator programs; The limitations of various types of respirators; and, The use of appropriate respiratory equipment.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: List the two main types of respirators and explain how they work; Understand that they must be medically qualified to wear a respirator before being fit tested and then being asked to wear one; Select appropriate respirators using decision logic; Describe the differences between qualitative and quantitative fit testing; Name two reasons for poor respirator fit; Demonstrate how to check out and don/doff an air purifying respirator and an SCBA; and, List five components of a respirator program that are required by OSHA.


Day 2/Module 4: Air Monitoring and Respirator Combined Hands On Activity – Chapter 4,

Air Monitoring, pgs. 15-22 and Chapter 6, Respiratory Protection, pgs. 19-24 In Student Manual 

Learning Objectives: Simultaneous use of respiratory equipment and air monitoring instruments.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Correctly don Air Purifying Respirators or SCBA’s; Execute three air monitoring instrument exercises while wearing an APR and three more while wearing SCBA; Correctly doff either kind of respirator; and, Correctly interpret the readings they obtained from the air monitoring instruments. (2 HOA)


Day 3/Module 1: Material Safety Data Sheet’s – Chapter 5 In Student Manual, pgs. 32-64

Learning Objectives: Terminology and interpretation of the information provided on an MSDS.

Performance Measures: Students are able to locate specific information on an MSDS. (TTA)


Day 3/Module 2: Materials Sampling and Handling – Chaper 10 In Student Manual

Learning Objectives: The health and safety problems involved in sampling contaminated soil and water; How to safely obtain a sample from drums, vaults, tanks, etc.; The restrictions that PPE presents when handling drums; The problems associated with sampling and moving damaged drums; and, The ergonomic hazards of the manual handling of materials.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: List the six components of a good sampling plan; List the five types of sampling that are common on hazardous waste sites; List three hazards associated with working around drill rigs; List five rules for safe drum handling; Explain how to bond and ground containers when transferring flammable liquids; and, Conduct a simple job analysis for ergonomic risk factors.


Day 3/Module 3: Chemical Protective Clothing (CPC) – Chapter 8 In Student Manual

Learning Objectives: The need to use CPC; The limitations of CPC and possible adaptations of equipment; How to wear and maintain CPC; and, The varieties of CPC available/how to select the appropriate type.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Identify the difference between Level A, Level B and Level C protection; Identify one physical and one psychological effect of wearing CPC; Name one limitation which affects the degree of protection afforded by a chemical protective suit; Identify one criterion for the selection and use of CPC; Identify the importance of using hazard recognition and health hazard evaluation in the selection of CPC; and, Identify two components of a personal protective equipment program. (1 TTA + 1 HOA)


Day 3/Module4: Site Control – Chapter 11 In Student Manual

Learning Objectives: The hierarchy of controls; The concept of limiting risk by using engineering controls; The importance of work zones and how to keep the worker and environment safe; and, The importance of the buddy system.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Read a health and safety plan; List at least three ways to use engineering controls at a site; List two reasons the buddy system is required; and, Explain why Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) must be in written form. (TTA)


Day 3/Module 5: Level B Dress-Out and Decontamination Combined Hands 0n Activity

Learning Objectives: Half of the class learns: The purpose of and principles of Decon; The adaptability of Decon principles to use in the field; The correct procedures for doffing CPC/ respirators; Control strategies for Decon; The potential for work related exposure in using Decon methods; and, What equipment is used in Decon. The other half of the class practices what they have learned relative to donning SCBA’s and CPC and then carry out a series of physical and dexterity type tasks in a simulated exclusion zone work area, suited up in Level B.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Understand the importance of Decon; Identify two Decon principles; Demonstrate the correct procedures for taking off CPC; and, Explain the relationship of Decon to health hazards. The first group satisfactorily suits up in Level C and sets up a Decon line prior to the other half of the class being ready to exit their assigned exclusion zone work area. Both teams work together to Decon the second half of the class and then the Decon team decontaminates itself. Both teams correctly doff their CPC and respiratory protection. (2 HOA)


Day 4/Module 1: Safety – Chapter 7 In Student Manual, pgs. 2-31

Learning Objectives: The major safety hazards in hazardous waste work and the importance of recognizing and controlling them at such sites.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: List four major safety hazards and how to control them; and, Identify three types of personal protective equipment appropriate for dealing with safety hazards. (TTA)


Day 4/Module2: Medical Surveillance – Chapter 5 In Student Manual, pgs. 23-31

Learning Objectives: The functions of medical surveillance programs.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Explain the limitations of medical surveillance programs; and, Ask for the medical professional who is correctly trained to do healthcare related to work. (TTA)


Day 4/Module 3: Emergency Response (ER)– Chapter 12 In Student Manual

Learning Objectives: The functions and objectives of an ER team; How to examine their employer’s ER plan in terms of the requirements of the OSHA 29 CFR1910.120 standard; Ways to prevent spills from happening; and, The techniques used for preventing, containing and cleaning up spills.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: List six key elements of an ER Plan; List six key personnel requirements for an ER Team; Critique a Site Safety Plan; Identify methods used to limit the number of spills at a hazardous waste remediation site; List five items which should be available for spill control; and, List five things you should do when you respond to a spill. (TTA)


Day 4/Module 4: Physical & Biological Hazards – Chapter 7 In Student Manual, pgs. 32-54

Learning Objectives: The major health problems associated with Physical and Biological Hazards in hazardous waste work and the importance of recognizing and controlling them at such sites.

Performance measures: Students are able to: Identify three physical hazards and two biological hazards and the appropriate controls for each. (TTA)


Day 4/Module 5: Confined Space (CS) Entry – Chapter 13 In Student Manual

Learning Objectives: Basic legal requirements and worker rights in CS work; Safe CS entry procedures; and, What lockout of hazardous equipment and energy sources entails and why it is so important.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Define a CS; List three atmospheric hazards which may occur in a CS; List two types of hazards other than hazardous atmospheres which may exist in a CS; List three requirements of a written CS program; and, List three parts of a lockout program. (TTA)


Day 4/Module 6: Level B Dress-Out and Decontamination Combined Hands On Activity

Learning Objectives & Performance Measures:

Same as Day 3/Module 5, but with group roles reversed. (HOA)


Day 5/Module 1: The Game of Toxic Jeopardy

Learning Objectives: In small groups, students review in a fun filled and competitive way the course materials and subjects presented on the preceding four days.

Performance Measures: Students are able to answer questions correctly or to understand why their response was not correct. (TTA)


Day 5/Module 2: Written Exam

Learning Objectives: Students review course work to date this week by individually answering a 50 question written and open book exam. Students can not consult each other during the exam.

Performance Measures:

At end, the trainers review the responses given and correct any areas of misunderstanding. (TTA)


Day 5/Module 3: Review Activity – PC Based Hazardous Waste Site Simulation, Parts 4-6

Learning Objectives: To review skills learned in course regarding recognition and control of health and safety hazards; To analyze a simulated hazardous waste site in terms of its possible hazards; and, To practice skills that will be needed in the Hands-On Practical Exercise.

Performance Measures: Students are able to: Work as a team to assess, identify and categorize hazards encountered, practice communicating with each other and practice three site roles. (TTA)


Day 5/Modules 4&5: Plan/Prepare for and Execute Practical Exercise (Final Incident)

Learning Objectives: Students have the opportunity to participate in a hands on use of the training they have received during the past week, in a simulated hazardous waste site problem or incident. Trainers strive at all times to make this practical exercise a positive learning experience.

Performance Measures: The ultimate measure of performance is how well students work together to plan for and execute the final incident in this training course. After the incident is concluded, students do a self critique of their collective and individual responses. Trainers then offer their comments, one at a time.  (TTA + HOA)


Day 5/Module 6: Evaluations and Awarding of Certificates:

Finally, students fill in anonymous Course Evaluations, the responses from which TNEC management and trainers use, at least in part, to determine the effectiveness of the training presented and to continuously improve this training program. Trainers congratulate students as they give out certificates.