OSHA’s New Hazwoper Pages

May 03, 2018

An unexpected release of hazardous substances, or a substantial threat of a hazardous substance release, can pose a significant health and safety risk to workers. Unexpected releases can be caused by operation failures and unrelated outside events (e.g., natural disasters, terrorism). Workers can encounter hazardous substances through waste dumped in the environment—a serious safety and health issue that continues to endanger life and environmental quality. Employers must adequately prepare emergency response and cleanup workers to clearly understand their role(s) in managing unexpected releases of hazardous substances, so that they can act quickly and respond in a safe manner during an emergency.

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