Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

June 28, 1988

Mr. Owen B Douglass, Jr.
Manager Health & Safety
Weston Way West
Chester, Pennsylvania 19280

Dear Mr. Douglass:

This is in response to your letter to Mr. Leo Carey concerning the training requirements under OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response interim final rule (29 CFR 1910.120). Please accept my apology for the delay in this reply.

You question the training requirements under 29 CFR 1910.120 for employees providing services which do not disturb the hazardous materials on a waste site. Employees who are neither exposed nor potentially exposed to hazardous waste or hazardous substances do not have to be provided with the training requirements of 29 CFR 1910.120(e). If exposure is present or likely to occur, these workers would have to be provided with the training.

The interim final rule does not have a provision regarding training of less than 40 hours for employees doing non-routine activities at Superfund sites. The final standard is expected to address these situations.

In the interim, for these types of activities OSHA will be evaluating the training based on the level necessary for workers to safety perform their job duties. The determination will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration such factors such as the level of personal protection equipment needed and nature of the hazards in general. For example, where potential safety and health hazards are minimal and Level D protection is the maximum protection necessary, it may be possible for employees to be adequately trained onsite in a clean area prior to the commencement of the work. As a minimum, topics must include the nature of potential hazards at the site, the requirements associated with Level D protection, and applicable portions of the site safety and health plan.

I hope this information is helpful.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs