OSHA has announced a new "Disaster Site Worker Outreach Training Program" to train workers who provide support in emergency response and recovery operations at disaster sites. OSHA also wants to raise awareness that pre-incident training is essential for ensuring disaster site worker safety and health.

The new program includes a 16-hour Disaster Site Worker Course that emphasizes the incident command system, hazard awareness, personal protective equipment (including the use of air-purifying respirators), and decontamination. The course will be taught by experienced construction safety and health trainers who have successfully completed the "train-the-trainer" course.

Also included in the program is a 10-hour Construction Outreach Training Course that focuses on safety and health hazards on a normal construction site, and a 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) course that provides the minimum level of training for workers engaged in hazardous substance removal.

A "Program Card" will be issued by OSHA's Office of Training and Education to workers who successfully complete the Construction, Disaster Site Worker, and HAZWOPER courses. Workers completing the Construction and Disaster Site Worker Course will receive the "Course Card," while "Authorized Trainer Cards" will be issued to students completing the "train-the-trainer" course.