Today is Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016

Department of Environmental Health

Training Programs

Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training

The Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training has been funded since 1987 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to develop, present and evaluate model worker training programs to help employers comply with 29 CFR 1910.120. 

The Midwest Consortium has established a policy to conform with ANSI/ASSE Z490.1-2001, Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training. Training centers in KY,IL, IN, MI, OH, MN, WI, TN and ND serve the regional needs of employees and employers. Partnerships with community organizations ensure that information is available to residents who live near hazardous materials or transportation routes.

Why We Do This
When Congress reauthorized the Superfund program in 1986 and directed OSHA to develop worker protection regulations for handling hazardous waste, it also authorized a division of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), to fund model worker training programs. Congress intended these programs to lead the way in developing a highly trained workforce capable of safely handling the cleanup of hazardous waste site and other incidents in which hazardous materials are involved.This midwest region represents we serve more than 20% of U.S. workers.

What We Do
Our programs move beyond the pencil and paper classroom approach to actual hands-on field exercises using state-of-the-art equipment. In many programs, students practice and must demonstrate their ability to perform in fully encapsulated personal protective suits or in self-contained breathing apparatus. Others employ appropriate simulations of hazardous materials incidents and demonstrations of chemical reactions students might encounter on the job.

What You Get
All programs include rigorous evaluation to document achievement as well as ongoing monitoring by the NIEHS to maintain top quality training on consistent basis.

Kudos from the 2015 review by experts for NIEHS included:

  • impressive, expansive program
  • leadership, staff and collaborators are eminently qualified
  • experienced trainers committed to interactive training for adults
  • excellent skill sets enable the group to develop and implement training that provides participants with knowledge and skills to effect change
  • serves states in a highly trafficked region of hazardous waste transportation
  • targets emerging needs of underserved populations


The intent is to provide the best possible programs fitted to the individual needs of trainees, management and the general public. Reflecting a commitment to providing the best in worker protection, the Midwest Consortium programs often exceed the minimum time and subject matter requirements. Programs can also be tailored to an employer’s special training needs.