Career summary

Details for Hazardous Materials Removal Workers


Description

Identify, remove, pack, transport, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, contaminated soil, etc. Specialized training and certification in hazardous materials handling or a confined entry permit are generally required. May operate earth-moving equipment or trucks.

Tasks

  • Build containment areas prior to beginning abatement or decontamination work.
  • Remove asbestos or lead from surfaces, using hand or power tools such as scrapers, vacuums, or high-pressure sprayers.
  • Identify asbestos, lead, or other hazardous materials to be removed, using monitoring devices.
  • Prepare hazardous material for removal or storage.
  • Comply with prescribed safety procedures or federal laws regulating waste disposal methods.
  • Load or unload materials into containers or onto trucks, using hoists or forklifts.
  • Clean contaminated equipment or areas for re-use, using detergents or solvents, sandblasters, filter pumps, or steam cleaners.
  • Remove or limit contamination following emergencies involving hazardous substances.
  • Clean mold-contaminated sites by removing damaged porous materials or thoroughly cleaning all contaminated nonporous materials.
  • Operate machines or equipment to remove, package, store, or transport loads of waste materials.
  • Record numbers of containers stored at disposal sites, specifying amounts or types of equipment or waste disposed.
  • Sort specialized hazardous waste at landfills or disposal centers, following proper disposal procedures.
  • Operate cranes to move or load baskets, casks, or canisters.
  • Drive trucks or other heavy equipment to convey contaminated waste to designated sea or ground locations.
  • Identify or separate waste products or materials for recycling or reuse.
  • Upload baskets of irradiated elements onto machines that insert fuel elements into canisters and secure lids.
  • Process e-waste, such as computer components containing lead or mercury.
  • Organize or track the locations of hazardous items in landfills.
  • Mix or pour concrete into forms to encase waste material for disposal.
  • Apply bioremediation techniques to hazardous wastes to allow naturally occurring bacteria to break down toxic substances.
  • Package, store, or move irradiated fuel elements in the underwater storage basins of nuclear reactor plants, using machines or equipment.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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