HAZWOPER / HAZMAT Offensive Responders

OSHA Medical Screening, Surveillance and Compliance Exams

Exams that are required by OSHA standards at workplaces where exposure to hazardous chemicals or other material may cause a variety of health problems. This includes Pre-Placement exam, Periodic or Annual exam, Emergency or Exposure exam, and Termination exam.
Types include (but not limited to) HAZMAT and HAZWOPER - Arsenic, Asbestos for General Industry and Construction, Benzene, Bloodborne pathogens, Cadmium, Chromium, Cotton Dust, Lead, Methylene Chloride, Silica and more. Also Exams for Respiratory Protection Program Compliance.
Some of these exams may include different components such as:
  • Work and Medical History Review
  • Physical Exam w/ special emphasis on body systems specific to hazard type
  • Chest X-ray with optional B-Read
  • PFT – NIOSH certified
  • Audiogram using OSHA Hearing Conservation Program
  • Blood work (CBC, CMP, Heavy Metals, Lipid, Liver enzymes and others)
  • T-Spot TB Test, Interferon TB test, PPD (TST) TB Test
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine and Titer Testing, HIV due to BBP exposure
  • EKG
  • Silica Exposure Questionnaire, Respirator Questionnaire
So are you Crystalline Silica Medical Compliant??
OSHA Compliance Schedule Dates:
Construction – September 23, 2017
General Industry – June23, 2018
Hydraulic Fracturing - June 23, 2018
Engineering Controls – June 23, 2021
What is the purpose of medical surveillance?
  • Determine the employee’s fitness to use respirators
  • Determine if an employee has any condition, such as a lung disease, that might make him or her more sensitive to respirable crystalline silica exposure
  • Identify adverse health effects associated with respirable crystalline silica exposure so appropriate action can be taken.
  • So employees can take actions to improve their health (Ex: losing weight, stop smoking, get adult vaccines, reduce exposures, wear protection, or make personal lifestyle and health decisions.

All HAZWOPER Offensive Responders listed in the regulations require the following:


Baseline Medical Physical Exam

The HAZWOPER Certification process begins with a standard baseline medical physical exam that includes a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT). A PFT is a non-invasive procedure where a person exhales into a tube that discharges into volumetric cylinder and records your lung capacity. How well your lungs function is important as you will be wearing a respirator. Lung capacity is an important part of ensuring you can wear a respirator and perform work in a safe manner.
OSHA has mandatory medical evaluation and questionnaire requirements that can be found in Appendix C of the Respiratory Protection Standard – 29 CFR 1910.134. A respirator must be worn when there is an Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) environment or whenever the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for hazardous substances are met or exceeded. The PEL's are located in 29 CFR 1910.1000 Subpart Z, known as the "Z Tables".

Training Based On Job Classification

Depending upon your job duties, there are a number of different HAZWOPER training courses you can take.
The following are considered Offensive First Responders.
General Site Workers
  • 40 hour HAZWOPER
  • 24 hour HAZWOPER
  • 8 hour Supervisor
Emergency Response
  • 24 hour Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Technician
  • 24 hour HAZMAT Specialist
  • 8 hour Incident Commander
Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) (TSDF)
  • 24 hour RCRA HAZWOPER TSDF Worker

Respirator Fit Test

For the offensive job classifications, a respirator fit test is required. 29 CFR 1910.134 requires this test. This involves either a qualitative or quantitative fit test followed by a positive and negative pressure fitting of the respirator before engaging in cleanup of hazardous substances. A qualitative fit test is a pass/fail test that relies on an individual's response to a test agent. The quantitative fit test provides a more accurate fit test. The particle concentration outside the respirator is measured against the concentration inside the respirator. The ratio of these two numbers is the fit factor.
If a person is wearing either a half-mask of full-face respirator, a person must perform a positive and negative pressure check of the seal between the face and rubber of the respirator. The negative pressure check is accomplished by placing the palms of both hands on the canister openings of the respirator and inhaling. A person should hold the exhaling pressure for 10-15 seconds and should notice a slight inward bulge of the facepiece.
The positive pressure check is done by placing the palm of one hand over the respirator exhaust valve and exhaling. A person should hold the exhaling pressure for 10-15 seconds and should notice a slight outward bulge of the facepiece.

Site-Specific or On the Job Training

On the job training (OJT) is required for all Offensive First Responders. For General Site Workers, the 24 hour HAZWOPER course requires 1 day of OJT and the 40 hour HAZWOPER course requires 3 days of OJT. A qualified instructor must conduct the OJT sessions. It is also a requirement that hands-on site-specific training be performed using the actual equipment an employee will be using during their job. Generic training on equipment does not fully satisfy the OSHA requirement. The site-specific training requirement must be done prior to working at a HAZWOPER site.

HAZWOPER Annual Re-certification

Annual re-certification and competency testing is required for all HAZWOPER certifications. Some of the courses have a time requirement and some have competency testing with no time requirement.

Certification Provided By Both Trainer and Employer

OSHA holds the employer ultimately responsible for adequately training their employees. The HAZWOPER certification granted to an employee is held jointly by the training provider and the employer.
HAZWOPER / HAZMAT Offensive Responders