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Hospital-Based Decontamination: Hazard Recognition

Introductory Information:

Participants will learn how to recognize hazardous materials in order to decontaminate patients safely.

Main Topics Covered in this Course Include:

  • Chemical and Physical Properties
  • Routes of Entry
  • Measures of Exposure
  • Health Effects

Opening Remarks:

SafeResponse has developed this online training program on Hazardous Material Recognition for healthcare employees who are responsible for decontaminating patients. This includes hospital workers and others who may be exposed to hazardous substances that are transported to the hospital on patients’ skin, hair, clothing, or personal effects. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers to these employees as First Receivers.

This online training program on Hazardous Materials Recognition is designed to meet only part of these OSHA training requirements. To be certified as a First Receiver, you will also need to complete an 8-hour, hands-on training program that explains how to use Personal Protective Equipment and how to decontaminate ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients.


Participants can print their certificates for this program once they have achieved a score of 70% or greater on the final quiz. You may take the quiz as many times as necessary in order to reach the 70% mark. A representative from your employer will need to certify each certificate by signing it. In order to be certified as completing this program, participants must complete the required information within the registration process. In addition, each participant must complete the training on an individual basis. If you ask someone else to go through the program for you, you will not learn the information that will be necessary to protect your health and safety. This will also render your certificate null and void.

Legal Requirements:

Legal Requirements

OSHA defines First Receivers as healthcare workers at a hospital that receives contaminated patients for treatment. First Receivers typically include clinicians and other hospital staff who have a role in receiving and treating contaminated victims. First Receivers also include those whose roles support these functions. First Receivers may include hospital technicians, facilities and engineering staff, housekeeping staff, employees who conduct patient tracking, Emergency Room employees, and those who provide treatment to contaminated patients. According to OSHA, First Receivers must receive training based on the jobs they will perform during patient decontamination.

Getting the Most out of the Program:

  1. Before starting the course, click on each Section Tab at the top of the Introduction page. This will tell you how the course is organized.
  2. This course should take (on average) 30 minutes to complete. Use this number if you are required to track time spent during training.
  3. At the end of this program, you will have to take a short quiz. In order to receive a certificate, you will have to get a score of 70% or greater. You can print your certificate of completion once you have achieved this score. You may take the quiz as many times as necessary in order to achieve the 70% mark. Passing the test will confirm that you have met part of OSHA’s training requirements for First Receivers. Additional hands-on training will be required before you meet the rest of these requirements.
  4. Finally, online learning is based on content and learner responsibility. As a learner, you have even more responsibility when taking this course. If you skip a section or fail to review all the material, you may weaken your ability to recognize hazardous materials during an emergency. For this reason, we urge you to get as much out of this course as you can.