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  1. #1
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    Default Operator / technician

    Just a quick question, Whis the difference between Hazmat Operator and Hazmat Tech? Which one is of a higher classification?
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  2. #2
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    Operator and Tech have the same trainingwhen it comes to decon level A suit and entering the hot zone. The only differance I know of is the Tech is trained on the different kits and can mitegate the leak.The operator can't.

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    Operational is strictly defensive with exceptions for 20 pound propane tanks on grills and leaking vehicles fuel tanks-provided there is training on these techniques.

    Technician level, especially thoses with NFPA 472 level certification can get activly invloved in stopping a leaking.
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    HazOps have to be dressed in one level of protection BELOW the Tech. Also, Ops are the ones partaking in decon of the techs once the techs leave the Hot zone.

    Ops must be dressed, prepped and ready before Tech's enter the hot zone in case of a emergency decon for the tech.

    I could be wrong, but I didn't think that the Ops people could be dressed in a Level A suit, however the could be dressed in a level B with SCBA.

    Ken was correct in that the Ops people would not be doing any plugging, damning or diking.

    Ops is a 40 hour class. Tech is broken into Tech A and Tech B. Both of those are 40 hour classes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The1andOnly
    HazOps have to be dressed in one level of protection BELOW the Tech. Also, Ops are the ones partaking in decon of the techs once the techs leave the Hot zone.

    Ops must be dressed, prepped and ready before Tech's enter the hot zone in case of a emergency decon for the tech.

    I could be wrong, but I didn't think that the Ops people could be dressed in a Level A suit, however the could be dressed in a level B with SCBA.

    Ken was correct in that the Ops people would not be doing any plugging, damning or diking.

    Ops is a 40 hour class. Tech is broken into Tech A and Tech B. Both of those are 40 hour classes.
    Alot depends if you are talking OSHA or NFPA. They have different quidelines.

    With NFPA, the first 3 levels are: (other levels include specialist,ems, and I.C.)
    Awareness- Recognize hazardous dangers and sets up perimeter in the "cold zone" per ERG.
    Operations- Decon plus damming, diking, and diverting in the "warm zone".
    Technician- Enters "hot zone" and mitigates the hazard.

    In each level, the hazard dictates what Chemical Protective Clothing you will wear.
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  6. #6
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    Default Technician vs Operations

    Remember that NFPA is a Standard not Law. So you better go with OSHA 1910.120 (subpart Q for Emergency Responders) which is an enforceable law. Operations Level Personnel can only do defensive type of actions, this means that they cannot get into the product.
    Technician level means that you can enter the Hot Zone and do work on or around the chemical in question. But remember to try to limit the exposure to the chemical to as little as possible.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfire1
    Remember that NFPA is a Standard not Law. So you better go with OSHA 1910.120 (subpart Q for Emergency Responders) which is an enforceable law. Operations Level Personnel can only do defensive type of actions, this means that they cannot get into the product.
    Technician level means that you can enter the Hot Zone and do work on or around the chemical in question. But remember to try to limit the exposure to the chemical to as little as possible.
    I agree that NFPA is just a "standard", but this "standard" has held up in court so take heed. Also OSHA is only law in OSHA States. I have noticed that OSHA is coming closer to NFPA in the HAZMAT area by their new guidelines. It is hard to read OSHA, but it seems that they are adopting the NFPA guidelines. Hopefully I will find out more on this later. Take care and stay safe!!
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  8. #8
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    Talking

    OSHA states? OSHA is Federal.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TARFU262
    OSHA states? OSHA is Federal.
    It's kind of long, but here is your answer!!!

    Application of OSHA Standards
    The regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (Federal OSHA) are binding only upon private sector employers. Therefore, a fire department (or fire brigade) that is part of a private company must comply with all of the applicable OSHA regulations. An example of a private sector rescue team would include an on-site industrial fire brigade that performs confined space rescue. Such a team would be required to comply with the OSHA Permit-Required Confined Space standard, 29 CFR ß 1910.146. In addition, all Federal government agencies, including Federal fire departments, must comply with all OSHA regulations (or issue standards of their own that are at least as effective as the OSHA standards in protecting workers).
    State and local government agencies are not subject to the regulations established by Federal OSHA. Although the Federal OSHA standards are not directly applicable to state and local fire departments or rescue agencies, the Federal OSHA law gives each state the option to operate under its own occupational health and safety programs. The states that choose to operate their own program are sometimes called "state OSHA jurisdictions", or simply "OSHA states" and are required by Federal law to cover state and local government employees in the same manner as they do private sector employees. As of July 1995, there were 23 states and two territories which were state OSHA jurisdictions (these include Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).

    Although a handful of state OSHA jurisdictions have issued their own regulations that apply specifically to fire and rescue departments (including California, Michigan, and Washington), most state OSHA jurisdictions have simply adopted the Federal standards. This means that in most state OSHA jurisdictions, public sector agencies, including state and local fire departments and rescue agencies, must comply with the Federal OSHA standards. Fire departments in state OSHA jurisdictions should contact their state occupational safety and health agency to determine what standards apply to them.

    (Adapted from the U.S. Fire Administrationís publication Technical Rescue Program Development Manual.)
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  10. #10
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    Default Long Reply

    Good Long Reply......Just check your State OSHA to see if you fall under State or Federal.... Most States that are like ours (KY) the regs are as or more stringent than the Fed. Also remember that they always talk in minimums, don't set your program to just minimums we all know that a 40 Hr Tech program is the beginning of many more hours of Training to be proficient at our craft.

  11. #11
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    Agree with almost everything all of you said. However, my comments were based on the great state of Illinois.

    Illinois is not an OSHA state. It's an IDOL...Illinois Department of Labor...

  12. #12
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    Not every state falls under osha. I used to work in one. We fell under the EPA for HAZMAT...But everything is pretty close to OSHA standards.

  13. #13
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    Default Epa?

    Let's also try to remember that whenever Hazmat is involved, so is the EPA. Thus, OSHA or non-OSHA, EPA standards which normally mimic OSHA's will be in effect in all states.

  14. #14
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    Default Operations vs Technician

    Captain Mikey,

    Everyone has posted some very good info. on the difference between Hazmat Ops. and Techs.

    The best way I can try and explian the difference between the two is:

    Operational Level Responders take defensive actions.
    Technician Level Responders take offensive actions.

    Operations Level Responders can: dike, dam, divert, retention, vapor suppersion and dispersion

    Technician Level Responders can: plug, patch, overpacking, gather samples, atmospheric montioring, ph testing, application of A,B,and C kits and so on.

    Some good information to look at to answer most of your questions you might have can be found in:

    NFPA 471 Recommended Practices fro reaponse to Hazardous Materials Incidents. http://safetynet.smis.doi.gov/nfpa471.pdf

    NFPA 472 Professional Competence of reponders to Hazardous Materials Incidents. http://safetynet.smis.doi.gov/nfpa472.pdf

    OSHA States Vs Non OSHA States

    OSHA States 29 CFR 1910.120 www.osha.gov
    Non OSHA 40 CFR 311
    These are pretty much mirrored standards

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  15. #15
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    Default A technicality

    I know that it is a technicality, but is there provision for plugging small fuel leaks (ie crimping a car's fuel line or plugging a small hole that is "dripping" gasoline)? We have operational level responders, but it would seem ridiculous to have a full haz mat response for dripping fuel.

    I don't know if it's true or not, but does that authority having jurisdiction have a lot to do with the amount and level of response allowed by Ops and Tech level personnel? For instance, can they put a provision in guidelines that states, "Operations level personnel are permitted only to take offensive action (plug and dike) when the spill is less than ___ gallons or it would be impractical to summon a full-scale haz mat response?"

    I'm not as familiar with HazMat stuff, so I'm trying to learn..thanks for the help.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by phyrngn
    I know that it is a technicality, but is there provision for plugging small fuel leaks (ie crimping a car's fuel line or plugging a small hole that is "dripping" gasoline)? We have operational level responders, but it would seem ridiculous to have a full haz mat response for dripping fuel.

    I don't know if it's true or not, but does that authority having jurisdiction have a lot to do with the amount and level of response allowed by Ops and Tech level personnel? For instance, can they put a provision in guidelines that states, "Operations level personnel are permitted only to take offensive action (plug and dike) when the spill is less than ___ gallons or it would be impractical to summon a full-scale haz mat response?"

    I'm not as familiar with HazMat stuff, so I'm trying to learn..thanks for the help.
    The AHJ can do pretty much anything they want. But I don't think it would be wise to veer too far off course from the national guidelines. In my opinion, if you are going to train your personnel to do offensive procedures, then they should be at the technician level. I am not sure what you mean by "a full-scale response", but you would respond with the proper personnel and equipment to mitigate the incident.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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