HAZWOPER Training Course Provided to NIU Students

HAZWOPER Training Course Provided to NIU StudentsA group of twenty-one Northern Illinois University students were recently afforded the opportunity to take a 40-hour HAZWOPER on-site training course. The course, which can cost up to $600 per trainee, was made possible by a variety of grants from the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Committee on the Improvement of Undergraduate, and Department of Technology, along with an equipment loan by the Department of Transportation.

The students, who conducted their training in Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBAs) and Tyvek suits, learned about the proper handling of hazardous materials and simulated work on contaminated sites.

The experience was part of an engaged learning experience, lead by Melissa Lenczewski, associate professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which aims to become a routine HAZWOPER course offering.

Lenczewski said, “My goal is to offer this HAZWOPER training every year. Completing this training, along with their bachelor’s degrees, translates directly into jobs for our students. It’s a significant factor in positioning them in the workplace. The students loved it, and they learned a lot. Almost all of them got 100 percent – or close to it – on their certification exam.”

Lenczewski says she got the idea from talking with her students who were applying for internships and summer/short-term employment. Employers clearly preferred applicants who had already been through the training.

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires the training for workers who will be performing activities that could expose them to hazardous substances, including clean-up operations, corrective actions, and emergency response operations involving hazardous substances and their storage, disposal or treatment.

HAZWOPER training is crucial for any professional who works in the general industry or construction workplaces. Safety leaders should utilize an OSHA-certified online training course to ensure the safety of their employees and compliance with OSHA standards.