Training Requirements

Training Requirements for Emergency Response under 29 CFR 1910.120(q)

A. Initial Training:  Training shall be based on the duties and functions to be performed by each responder of an emergency response organization.

B. Employees who participate or are expected to participate in emergency response shall be given training as follows:

1. First responder awareness level:(2-4 hours) 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(6)(i)- First responders at the awareness level shall have sufficient training or have had sufficient experience to objectively demonstrate competency in the following areas:

a. an understanding of what hazardous substances are, and the risks associated with them in an incident;

b. an understanding of the potential outcomes associated with an emergency created when hazardous substances are present;

c. the ability to recognize the presence of hazardous substances in an emergency;

d. the ability to identify the hazardous substances, if possible;

e. an understanding of the role of the first responder awareness individual in the employer’s emergency response plan, including site security and control and DOT’s Emergency Response Guidebook; and

f.  the ability to realize the need for additional resources, and to make appropriate notifications to the communication center.

NOTE: Persons trained to the awareness level are able to recognize an        emergency and activate the emergency response plan.


2. First responder operations level:(8-24 hours) 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(6)(ii) First responders at the operational level shall have received at least eight hours of training or have had sufficient experience to objectively demonstrate competency in the following areas in addition to those listed for the awareness level:

a. knowledge of basic hazard and risk assessment techniques;

b. knowledge of how to select and use proper PPE provided to the first responder operational level;

c. an understanding of basic hazardous materials terms;

d. knowledge of how to perform basic control, containment, and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and PPE available with their unit;

e. knowledge of how to implement basic decontamination procedures; and

f.  an understanding of the relevant standard operating procedures and termination procedures.

NOTE: Persons trained to the operations level may respond to emergencies in a      defensive manner only, when there is little or no potential for exposure to hazards.


3. Hazardous materials technician:( 8-24 hours) 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(6)(iii) Hazardous materials technicians shall have received at least 24 hours of training equal to the first responder operations level and in addition:

a. know how to implement the employer’s emergency response plan;

b. know the classification, identification, and verification of known and unknown materials by using field survey instruments and equipment;

c. be able to function within an assigned role in the Incident Command System;

d. know how to select and use proper specialized chemical PPE provided to the hazardous materials technician;

e. understand hazard and risk assessment techniques;

f.  be able to perform advanced control, containment, and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and PPE available with the unit;

g. understand and implement decontamination procedures;

h. understand termination procedures; and

i.  understand basic chemical and toxicological terminology and behavior.

NOTE: Persons trained to the technician level may respond aggressively to emergency responses.

4. Hazardous materials specialist🙁8-24 hours) 29 CFR 1910.120(6)(q)(iv)  Hazardous materials specialists shall have received at least 24 hours of training equal to the technician level and in addition:

a. know how to implement the local emergency response plan;

b. understand classification, identification, and verification of known and unknown materials by using advanced survey instrument and equipment;

c. know of the state emergency response plan;

d. be able to select and use proper specialized chemical PPE provided to the hazardous materials specialist;

e. understand in-depth hazard and risk techniques;

f.  be able to perform specialized control, containment, and/or confinement operations within the capabilities of the resources and PPE available;

g. be able to determine and implement decontamination procedures;

h. have the ability to develop a site safety and control plan; and

i.  understand chemical, radiological, and toxicological terminology and behavior.

5. On-scene incident commander:(8-16 hours) 29CFR1910.120(q)(6)(v)  On-scene incident commanders shall receive at least 24 hours of training equal to the first responder operations level and in addition:

a. know and be able to implement the employer’s incident command system;

b. know how to implement the employer’s emergency response plan;

c. know and understand the hazards and risks associated with employees working in chemical protective clothing;

d. know how to implement the local emergency response plan;

e. know of the state emergency response plan and of the Federal Regional Response Team; and

f.  know and understand the important of decontamination procedures.

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