Hazardous Waste Operations

Chapter 296-843, WAC

Effective Date: 05/01/04

Helpful Tools

Emergency Response for Hazardous Waste Sites

WAC 296-843-160

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Your responsibility:

To establish an emergency response plan for emergencies at the hazardous waste site

You must

Establish an emergency response plan for anticipated emergencies before beginning hazardous waste operations

WAC 296-843-16005
Establish an emergency response plan for anticipated emergencies before beginning hazardous waste operations



Employers are exempt from preparing an emergency response plan if they do all of the following:

  • Evacuate all employees from the danger area during an emergency
  • Prohibit employees from assisting in the emergency response
  • Prepare an emergency action plan that complies with WAC 296-24-567(1), Evacuation Plan.


Treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) employers aren’t required to duplicate subjects fully addressed in the contingency plan required by permits when the contingency plan is part of their emergency response plan. Examples of permits would be those issued by the Department of Ecology.

You must

(1) Establish and maintain the plan to reflect current site conditions, information, and personnel:

    • Include policies or procedures for at least the following:

      – Preemergency planning

      – Coordination with outside organizations

      – Current site topography, layout, and weather conditions

      – Personnel roles

      – Lines of authority

      – Communication

      – Reporting incidents to local, state, and federal government agencies

      – Emergency recognition and prevention

      – Safe distances and places of refuge

      – Site security and control

      – Evacuation routes

      – Decontamination not covered by the site-specific HASP

      – Emergency medical treatment and first aid

      – Emergency alert and response

      – Personal protective equipment and emergency equipment.

      – Employee training

      – Critique of the response effort and appropriate followup.

    • Use available information at the time of the emergency to:

      – Evaluate the incident and site response capabilities

      – Proceed with appropriate steps to implement your emergency response plan.

    • Make sure the emergency response plan is:

      – Kept as a separate section of your site-specific health and safety plan (HASP);

      - Integrated and compatible with, local, state, and federal plans for disasters, fires, and emergency responses.

(2) Establish an alarm system to alert employees to all of the following:

    • An on-site emergency incident:
    • – To stop work activities, if necessary

      – To lower background noise to assist communication

      – To begin emergency procedures.

(3) Rehearse the plan as part of site operations training.

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