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, or contaminated soil. Specialized training and certification in hazardous materials handling or a confined entry permit are generally required. May operate earth-moving equipment or trucks.

Tasks

  • Comply with prescribed safety procedures or federal laws regulating waste disposal methods.
  • Record numbers of containers stored at disposal sites, specifying amounts or types of equipment or waste disposed.
  • Drive trucks or other heavy equipment to convey contaminated waste to designated sea or ground locations.
  • Operate machines or equipment to remove, package, store, or transport loads of waste materials.
  • 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.
  • Construct scaffolding or 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.
  • Upload baskets of irradiated elements onto machines that insert fuel elements into canisters and secure lids.
  • Apply chemical compounds to lead-based paint, allow compounds to dry, then scrape the hazardous material into containers for removal and/or storage.
  • Identify asbestos, lead, or other hazardous materials to be removed, using monitoring devices.
  • Pull tram cars along underwater tracks, and position cars to receive irradiated fuel elements; then pull loaded cars to mechanisms that automatically unload elements onto underwater tables.
  • Package, store, or move irradiated fuel elements in the underwater storage basins of nuclear reactor plants, using machines or equipment.
  • Organize or track the locations of hazardous items in landfills.
  • Operate cranes to move or load baskets, casks, or canisters.
  • Manipulate handgrips of mechanical arms to place irradiated fuel elements into baskets.
  • 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.
  • Clean mold-contaminated sites by removing damaged porous materials or thoroughly cleaning all contaminated nonporous materials.
  • Identify or separate waste products or materials for recycling or reuse.
  • Process e-waste, such as computer components containing lead or mercury.
  • Remove or limit contamination following emergencies involving hazardous substances.
  • Sort specialized hazardous waste at landfills or disposal centers, following proper disposal procedures.

Knowledge

Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Foreign Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.

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.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Asbestos Abatement Worker
Asbestos Coverer
Asbestos Remover
Asbestos Worker
Decontamination / Decommissioning Operator (D & D Operator)
Field Technician
Hazard Waste Handler
Hazardous Material Specialist
Hazardous Waste Remover
Hazmat Technician (Hazardous Materials Technician)
Irradiated Fuel Handler
Nuclear Waste Handler
Radiological Control and Safety Technician
Sampler
Site Worker
Truck Driver
Waste Disposal Attendant
Waste Handling Technician

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$18.07 hourly, $37,590 annual.
Employment (2008):
37,440 employees