THE HAZWOPER CERTIFICATION PROCESS
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 a volumetric cylinder and records your lung capacity. Lung capacity is an important part of ensuring you can wear a respirator and perform work in a safe manner.
All HAZWOPER Offensive Responders listed in the regulations require the following:
- Baseline medical physical exam
- Training based on job classification
- Respirator fit test
- Site-specific or on the job training
- Annual re-certification
- Certification provided by trainer and employer
OSHA: RESPIRATOR REQUIREMENTS
OSHA has a mandatory medical evaluation and questionnaire and one can locate requirements in Appendix C of the Respiratory Protection Standard – 29 CFR 1910.134.
A respirator must be worn when a worker is in an Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) environment or whenever the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for hazardous substances are met or exceeded.