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HAZMAT Protection Levels Complete Guide!

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HAZMAT Protection Levels Complete Guide!

HAZMAT Protection Levels

The HAZMAT Protection Levels Complete Guide gives you all the information you need on HAZMAT Protection levels including Level A HAZMAT Suit, Level B HAZMAT Suit, Level C HAZMAT Suit, and Level D HAZMAT Suit when they are used & what equipment each level is comprised of.

First off, let us start with the HAZMAT definition. HAZMAT is the abbreviation for hazardous materials, and HAZMAT workers will be working with hazardous materials regularly, which means they will need the proper protection to keep themselves safe and healthy.

The Occupational Safety and Health Association or OSHA created 4 different levels of protection to keep HAZMAT workers safe while working with hazardous Materials, Level A, Level B, Level C, and Level D. The Level A HAZMAT Suit is the most protective; each subsequent level decreases in the amount of protection leading to the Level D HAZMAT Suit which is the least protective.

HAMAT Suit Levels and Uses:

HAZMAT Protection Level A (Level A HAZMAT Suit)

When is a Level A HAZMAT Suit used?

HAZMAT Level A suits are used when you need the greatest level of skin, eye, and respiratory protection. Situations where hazardous waste or substances are present, and there is a high risk to the respiratory system, skin, and eyes. Operations are conducted in confined with poorly ventilated areas. Level A suits are commonly used in permit-required confined spaces and provide the highest level of protection.

The Level A HAZMAT Suit includes:

  •  Positive pressure full face-piece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or positive pressure supplied-air respirator with escape SCBA
  • Total encapsulating Chemical protective suit
  • Coveralls (optional as needed)
  • Long underwear (optional as needed)
  • Inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves
  • Boots that are chemical resistant, steel-toed, and have shanks
  • Hard hat (optional as needed) 

HAZMAT Protection Level B (Level B HAZMAT Suit)

When is a LEVEL B HAZMAT Suit Used?

Level B HAZMAT Protection is used when the highest respiratory protection is still needed, but a lesser level of skin protection is also needed. Level A uses a total encapsulating Chemical protective suit, whereas Level B uses hooded chemical-resistant clothing like a splash shield. Level B protection is commonly used on an initial site survey/site characterization.

The Level B HAZMAT Suit Protection Includes:

  • Positive Pressure full-facepiece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or a positive supplied-air respirator with escape SCBA
  • Hooded chemical-resistant clothing Ex: coveralls with one or two-piece chemical splash suit
  • Coveralls
  • Outer gloves that are chemical resistant
  • Inner gloves that are chemical resistant
  • Outer boots that are chemical resistant, steel toe, and shanks
  • Outer chemical resistant boot covers (Optional as needed)
  • Hard hat (Optional as needed)
  • Face shield 

HAZMAT Protection Level C (Level C HAZMAT Suit)

When is a LEVEL C HAZMAT Suit Used?

Level C HAZMAT suits are the most frequently used suits and provide a lower level of respiratory protection than level B but the same level of skin protection. Level C is used when the concentrations and types of hazardous substances are already known. This protection level is commonly used for HAZWOPER general site workers who don’t have the responsibility to deal directly with hazardous materials.

The Level C HAZMAT Suit Protection includes:

  • Full Face or half-mask air-purifying respirator
  • Hooded chemical-resistant clothing
  • Coveralls (Optional as needed)
  • Outer chemical resistant gloves
  • Inner chemical resistant gloves
  • Boots, Outer chemical-resistant, steel toe and shank (optional as needed)
  • Hard hat (optional as needed)
  • Escape mask (optional as needed)
  • Face shield (optional as needed) 

HAZMAT Protection Level D (Level D HAZMAT Suit)

When is a LEVEL D HAZMAT Suit Used?

Level D protection uses minimal protection, including no respiratory protection and minimal to no contact with dangerous chemicals. Level D protection is commonly used on construction sites.

The Level D HAZMAT Suit Protection includes:

  • Coveralls
  • Gloves (optional as needed)
  • Boots steel toes shanks and chemical resistant as needed
  • Safety glasses (optional as needed)
  • Hard Hat (optional as needed)
  • Face Shield (optional as needed)
  • Escape mask (optional as needed) 

Want more information on HAZMAT protection levels and PPE (personal protective equipment) from OSHA, try OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120, Appendix B 

HAZWOPER Hazmat Certification

Try any of our HAZWOPER Courses and get the right OSHA certification for your job duties.

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OSHA 24 Hour HAZWOPER Training (Online)
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HAZWOPER Refresher (Online)
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