HAZWOPER Incident Command System

SKU: C-1014Duration: 42 Minutes

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Get immediate access to this interactive eLearning course online. Must be used within 30 days, expires 48 hours after launch.

Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 42 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: 29 CFR 1910.120

Languages: English

An incident is any event that requires emergency response to protect life or property. OSHA's HAZWOPER standard requires all organizations that handle hazardous materials to use the Incident Command System (ICS). The ICS is a component of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) that provides a standard approach for incident management. ICS allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communication systems within a common organizational structure. ICS enables a coordinated response among various agencies, both public and private, and it establishes common processes for planning and managing resources. This module describes all aspects of the incident command system.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Describe the ICS organization structure
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of each position established by the incident command system
  • Define key ICS terms
  • Describe the purpose of an Incident Action Plan
  • List the priorities for determining incident objectives
  • Identify and describe the five types of incidents as defined by the ICS
  • Describe the role of executives and senior officials during incident response
  • Describe the process for transferring command
  • Describe the purpose of unified and area commands and when they are applied

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is the role of an incident commander?
All incidents, regardless of size or complexity, require an incident commander (IC). They must set incident objectives and then determine the strategies, resources, and the ICS organization structure needed to achieve the objectives.

What is the command staff?
The incident commander needs assistance for some incidents. They can form a command staff, which can consist of a safety officer, public information officer, and a liaison officer.

What are section chiefs?
Depending on the needs of the incident, the IC can add an operations section chief, planning section chief, logistics section chief, and finance/administration section chief to handle specific aspects of commanding the incident.

What is an incident action plan?
Every incident needs an incident action plan to ensure resources are used effectively and everyone works safely together. The plan includes priorities, strategic goals, tactical objectives, and resources requirements.

What is delegation of authority?
When an incident is outside the incident commander's jurisdiction, when the scope is complex or beyond existing authorities, or when required by law, an agency administrator or elected official must expand the commander's authority to carry out specific functions.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Any incident involving hazardous materials has political, economic, social, environmental, and financial consequences. The incident command system helps mitigate impacts in these areas by providing a standard way to respond to and manage an incident. The main benefit of ICS is that it is flexible and can be used for all incidents, regardless of their type or complexity. It also allows personnel from different agencies to work together under a common management structure. ICS also provides logistical and administrative support to avoid duplication of efforts, which saves time and money.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

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