Worker Education and Training Program
The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) (http://www.epa.gov/region5/defs/html/sara.htm) authorized an assistance program for training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous waste removal, containment and emergency response. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) hazardous materials worker training program are cooperative agreements from qualified domestic nonprofit organizations with demonstrated access to appropriate worker populations and have experience in implementing and operating model worker health and safety education training programs for hazardous materials or waste workers.
Through the encouragement of multi-state, university-based consortiums and the development of national non-profit organizations which have focused on specific workforce sectors, this Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP) has established technically-proficient curriculum materials and quality-controlled course presentations. These courses have been delivered to hazardous waste workers and emergency responders in every region of the country and have established new national benchmarks for quality worker safety and health training. The program also has represented a major prevention education activity for NIEHS as technical scientific and basic research information is delivered to target populations with high-risk toxic exposures. During the first eighteen years of the Superfund Worker Training Program (Fiscal Year (FY) 87-05), the NIEHS has successfully supported a total of twenty primary awardees. These represent over one hundred different institutions that have trained more than 1.4 million workers across the country and presented over 77,000 classroom and hands-on training courses, which have accounted for more than 19 million contact hours of actual training.