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 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.