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.

December 28, 1989

Mr. James H. Kleinfelder
Hazardous Waste Action Coalition
1015 Fifteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

Dear Mr. Kleinfelder:

This is in response to your letter of November 27, to Secretary Dole. We believe the following explanation will resolve your concerns. Please write again if you wish a more detailed explanation or other actions by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Employees who work at the perimeter of a hazardous waste site, do not enter areas where hazardous waste may exist, are stored or are processed and are not exposed to health or safety hazards related to hazardous waste operations are not covered by the standard. Consequently clerical personnel or support personnel meeting the above requirements are not covered by the standard including its training requirements. Delivery persons who leave off the delivered items in perimeter areas and meet the above requirements also are not covered. A truck driver delivering clean fill may not be covered if the area where the fill is delivered is not where hazardous wastes are located and if the driver is not exposed to health or safety hazards resulting from hazardous waste operations.

However, if clerical employees, support personnel or drivers are in areas where there may be exposure to health or safety hazards resulting from hazardous waste operations, they are covered by the standard. Training would have to be 40 hours or 24 hours depending upon which provision of paragraph 1910.120(e) covers them.

I hope this information is helpful.


Gerard F. Scannell
Assistant Secretary

November 27, 1989

Mrs. Elizabeth Dole
Secretary US Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Dole:

The Hazardous Waste Action Coalition (HWAC) requests a petition for review of certain sections of the final OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. The over one hundred hazardous waste engineering firms represented by HWAC are committed to compliance with OSHA throughout their hazardous waste practices. However, the new language in the final standard regarding employee training at hazardous waste operations is ambiguous, and requires clarification.

HWAC requests an interpretation of the final 29 CFR 1910.120 requirements with regard to individuals required to have training. Specifically, Section 1910.120(a)(1) (Scope) and Section 1910.120(e)(3)(ii) (Training) and Section 1910.120(e)(iii) (Training) appear to be in conflict. As indicated in the Scope section, training would not be required for employees unless exposed to safety and health hazards. However, twenty-four hours of training would be required for non-exposed employees if sections (e)(3)(ii) and (e)(3)(iii) were followed. These sections could be interpreted to mean that non-exposed employees such as delivery, clerical, and related support personnel (including truck drivers who deliver clean fill to support zones) would be required to have twenty-four hours of training.

The three paragraphs of concern are new to the final standard issued March 6, 1989, and hence were not available for comment during public hearings. If HWAC member firms were required to train non-exposed employees, major logistic and planning problems would result. A clarification is needed as soon as possible and certainly prior to the March 1990 effective date of the standard. Response should be directed to my attention at the HWAC office. Mr. Martin Mathamel of CDM Federal Programs Corporation may be contacted at 703-968-0900 with technical questions.

Very truly yours,

James H. Kleinfelder