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Hazardous Materials Training for SpaceX - 2011

SpaceX is the premier private space transport company that’s currently contracted with NASA to deliver payloads to the International Space Station.  Located in Hawthorne, CA, SpaceX was founded in 2002 by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk. It has since grown from 150+ employees in 2005 to over 1000 employees today.

SpaceX has been on a hiring frenzy for the past several years, and with that has come new challenges. One of those is ensuring that all operations are compliant with OSHA standards and that employees can react to any potential mishaps. This is particularly challenging, as SpaceX activities utilize certain chemicals that are classified as hazardous materials. Workers needed to be trained in how to manage hazardous materials and be knowledgeable of all emergency procedures in case of accident.

The El Camino College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) contracted with Safety Unlimited, a California-based company, for $5,900 to provide SpaceX employees with the following: 1) HAZWOPER training, 2) Hazardous Materials Technician (HMT) training, and 3) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) training. The HAZWOPER training is designed for workers involved with hazardous material transport/removal or any other activity that exposes employees to potential danger. The HMT training is intended for employees who can be part of hazardous response teams. The SCBA training is designed for employees to utilize breathing apparatus equipment during normal work operations or emergency situations.

15 SpaceX employees received 56 hours of training, and are now federally compliant with OSHA requirements pertaining to the utilization, management, and emergency response of hazardous materials. In addition, employees are now better prepared to act in case of an emergency involving hazardous material.

For more information, please contact David Gonzales, Director of the El Camino CACT, at 310-973-3170 or via email (

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