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 https://www.osha.gov.

June 23, 1989

Mr. Jeremy Millstone
Connolly & Freshman, Inc.
Suite 500
1015 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

Dear Mr. Millstone:

This is in response to your letter of June 13, concerning the relationship of several paragraphs within the 29 CFR 1910.120 Standard.

After further study of the paragraphs in question (i.e., 1910.120(p)(1), (p)(5) and (6)), I believe my telephone response was not quite accurate. Paragraph (p)(5) would take precedence over paragraph (p)(1) which uses the phrase "as appropriate" and would require that employers put in place a method to become aware of new technologies involving hazardous waste operations (including storage) and introduce them into their workplaces if appropriate for their operations.

The same would hold true for paragraph (p)(6). Employers would need to follow the referenced requirements of paragraph (j), if appropriate, to their operations.

Thus contrary to my telephone response to you, the phrase "as appropriate" applies to the specifics of paragraphs (p)(5) and (p)(6), and does not give the option to not have the programs called for in these paragraphs.

If I can be of further service to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Chappell D. Pierce, Director
Office of Fire Protection Engineering and
Systems Safety Standards