What Happens If My HAZWOPER Certification Expires?

HAZWOPER Certification Expired
Employees who hold a HAZWOPER certification can lose their certification if their annual refresher training expires. Once an employee is initially certified, they must complete a HAZWOPER refresher on or before their initial training date. This “refresher date” becomes a sliding scale as annual training is required on or before their last training date in order to maintain their certification. 

Should an employee lose their OSHA HAZWOPER certification because of lapsed training, they have two options. In the case of a general site worker, they can complete the initial 24 or 40 hour HAZWOPER training again or take a refresher course. The decision on whether to repeat the initial training or take a refresher rests with the employer. The employer must decide if the person is capable of performing work in a safe manner and in compliance with OSHA regulations. If the employer believes the employee still possesses the knowledge and job skills to safely perform work, then a refresher must be completed at the next opportunity. This is usually done in a timely manner. 

OSHA promulgates many if not all of its regulations holding the employer ultimately responsible for their employees. So, the employer will have a say if an employee misses their required annual refresher training. From an OSHA compliance perspective, we recommend documenting the occurrence in your company training records. The documentation should indicate a refresher was missed and list the corrective action taken. 

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U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration