Login icon
eLearning Login
Your Cart
Hard Hat Training logo

Does OSHA Require Hands-On Training For the 40-hour HAZWOPER Training?

HAZWOPER 40 is also known as OSHA 40 Hour training. If you are looking for OSHA 40, we do offer it, under the name HAZWOPER 40.

Who Needs 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training?


40-hour HAZWOPER training is intended specifically for anyone who is expected to be exposed to or work in environments with high levels of hazardous substances. If you are new to handling or working with hazardous substances, you will also need to complete a 40-hour training course in order to educate and prepare yourself to do so. Specific occupations that would require 40-hour HAZWOPER training would most likely include:

  • General site workers
  • Equipment operators
  • On-site management and supervisors
  • Treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facility workers
  • Environmental health and safety workers
  • Hazardous materials technicians and specialists

If you are less directly exposed to or required to handle hazardous substances, you may consider taking a 24-hour HAZWOPER course instead of the 40-hour one. This is usually for personnel who have similar roles to those above but are off-site and for emergency responders.

Does OSHA HAZWOPER expire?

orange swish
40-hour HAZWOPER training does expire and is not a one-and-done deal. OSHA requires you to take an 8-hour refresher course every twelve months, regardless if you have taken a 24 or 40-hour training course. If you don’t take a refresher course by the 12-month mark of the day you completed your training, your employer may require you to retake the entire 40-hour course.

Is OSHA 40 the Same As HAZWOPER?

A 40-hour OSHA course, or OSHA 40 course, refers to any course that is intended for workers who will face the highest exposure to a hazard in their workplace. If this applies to you, this means you will be onsite, handling hazardous substances, materials, or machinery directly. 40-hour training will prepare you best for what you will face and how to be safe when working.

That being said, the only course that OSHA mandates to be 40 hours in length is the HAZWOPER training. Because of this, these terms generally mean the same thing and are used interchangeably.

OSHA 40 is usually associated with the OSHA 30 course. However, the OSHA 30 course is entirely different and teaches construction and general industry employees and supervisors how to identify and avoid safety and health risks. OSHA 30 is not a variant of HAZWOPER, and should not be confused with the 40-hour HAZWOPER training course.

What Are the Requirements For HAZWOPER Trainers?

OSHA does not specifically require trainers to become certified to train HAZWOPER courses. The information they need to teach is found within the OSHA standards for HAZWOPER training. OSHA standards state that trainers can be qualified by academic degrees, field experience, and/or completion of training courses related to HAZWOPER operations.

This means they should be knowledgeable in what goes on with hazardous substances and waste operations enough to be able to teach about it. At Hard Hat Training, we provide “Train The Trainer'' courses as part of our training kits. This module teaches employers how to train their employees and is completely OSHA compliant.

Does OSHA Require Hands-On Training For The 40-hour HAZWOPER Training?

The 40-hour HAZWOPER training course contains 40 hours' worth of information and skills. In addition to that information, yes, you are required to take hands-on training as well. At Hard Hat Training, we can provide you with everything you need for a 40-hour HAZWOPER training course, including hands-on training.

OSHA does not endorse or approve any training program or trainers, as per their policy. For this reason, they do not outline how much hands-on training you need to receive. They only require that there is some kind of hands-on training component to HAZWOPER training prior to the required three-day field experience. This means that you cannot receive 40-hour HAZWOPER training entirely through a classroom or online course.

OSHA believes that it would be a significant risk to you and others around you if there was not a hands-on training element to the HAZWOPER training. This training needs to come from qualified trainers and include opportunities to refresh and learn certain skills. These skills include such things as proper use of PPE and safe practices, which are taught in a non-hazardous environment.

In addition, the hands-on training cannot be administered with a generic, one-size-fits-all approach. It needs to be prepared specifically for whatever site the employees receiving the training are going to be working in.

Can 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training Be Obtained Online?

You can only receive a portion of the 40-hour HAZWOPER training online. The 40-hour portion of the training, including all the information, written quizzes, and the written exam, can be provided through the online training course. However, as stated above, it is not sufficient enough for you if you are going to work with hazardous substances.

You are also required to take hands-on training and receive field experience to complete a 40-hour HAZWOPER training course. Sometimes, virtual simulators have been used to provide training that is both online and hands-on. This training method has been approved by OSHA as acceptable along with hands-on training for exercises such as donning and doffing PPE. HAZWOPER hands-on simulators cannot be a complete replacement for hands-on training.

What Happens If Hands-On Training is Not Completed?

In order for you to complete your 40-hour HAZWOPER, all portions of the training need to be followed and completed. If you are not provided with hands-on training from your trainer or service that provides your training, then you cannot be certified.

If a training service knowingly fails to provide you hands-on training with the rest of the course training, the trainer or provider risks violations and fines for breaking OSHA standards regarding 40-hour HAZWOPER training.



The standards, as outlined by OSHA for HAZWOPER, include the following key provisions and employer requirements:

  • Safety and health programs
  • Site characterization
  • Site control
  • Training
  • Medical surveillance
  • Engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Monitoring
  • Informational programs
  • Handling drums and containers
  • Decontamination
  • Emergency response by employees at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites
  • Illumination
  • Sanitation at temporary workplaces
  • New technology programs
  • TSD facility operations

These standards are detailed further in 29 CFR 1910.120, which states who, where, and what is involved with HAZWOPER operations. These standards can be understood better by the five distinct groups of employers and the employees they apply to.

These groups include those who are or could be exposed to hazardous substances, as well as those that are not and the operations associated with each of them. The operations that apply to HAZWOPER standards are:

  1. Clean-up operations: These operations are carried out at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites and facilities as mandated by federal, local, state, and other government bodies.
  2. Corrective actions: These operations refer to clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
  3. Voluntary clean-up operations: These are operations carried out at sites recognized by federal, state, local, or other government bodies as being uncontrolled waste sites.
  4. TSD facilities operations: These operations are conducted as regulated by RCRA or agencies under agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to uphold RCRA regulations.
  5. Emergency response operations: These operations refer to sudden, substantial releases of hazardous substances that need to be dealt with immediately regardless of location.

Field Experience vs. Hands-On Experience

Field experience and hands-on experience are not the same in regards to the requirements OSHA set for HAZWOPER training. Each training has a different amount of experience that is required. In this case, 40-hour HAZWOPER training requires a three-day field experience after all other requirements have been met.

The hands-on experience is meant to come after the 40 hours of online or classroom training, and before the three days of field experience. The purpose of it is to provide practical training with equipment and safety practices in a non-hazardous environment. This way there is no actual risk of exposure to hazards so that you will be more fully trained and prepared prior to actually being at risk in an emergency situation.

Once you have mastered the necessary skills in the hands-on experience, you will be ready to move on to the field experience portion of the HAZWOPER training.

Hard Hat Training’s 40-Hour HAZWOPER Course

There are many OSHA complaint sources that provide 40-hour HAZWOPER courses. Here at Hard Hat Training, however, we provide a 40-hour HAZWOPER course with variable options. These options include:

  • Online training
  • Onsite training
  • Training kits
  • Train The Trainer courses

Our training is OSHA-Compliant and is remarkably thorough and accessible. Since there are hands-on requirements for HAZWOPER training, our online course includes a practical assessment and checklist to guide trainers in their hands-on training prior to the field experience. The included material for the hands-on portion allows employers and trainers to easily prepare for site-specific training. This may include adjusting the checklist for their site-specific PPE and other equipment.

Our 40-hour HAZWOPER training contains twenty modules that cover everything you need to know about hazardous substances and how to handle them. In order, the modules are:

  • Introduction
  • Regulations and overview
  • Site characterization
  • Site monitoring
  • Hazard recognition
  • Toxicology
  • Hazard communication
  • Material handling
  • Illumination, sanitation, and new technology
  • Excavation
  • Confined spaces
  • Fall protection
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Hazardous locations
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Decontamination procedures
  • Medical surveillance
  • Fire prevention
  • Emergency procedures
  • Conclusion

The conclusion of our course gives you a full review of everything that will be covered in the final exam. This way you will be more prepared and not need to spend extra time reviewing information to take the exam. Try Hard Hat Training’s 40-hour HAZWOPER course today!

In the top 20 companies in health and wellness, 2021
"Stop training the hard way. Do it the Hard Hat Training way instead!"
— Arthur Lee, CEO