- Standard Number:
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.
January 28, 1991
Joseph F. Meyers, Director
Division of Emergency Management
Department of Crime Control
and Public Safety
116 West Jones Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-1335
Dear Mr. Meyers:
This is in response to your letter of November 30, 1990, addressed to Roger Clark, Director, Directorate of Safety Standards Programs, concerning the emergency response provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard, 29 CFR 1910.120.
As suggested in your letter, a member of my staff has discussed your inquiry with Elaine Wathen of your office, and Ms. Wathen has provided us with supplemental information pertinent to your questions. After reviewing the supplemental information, we concur with the technical interpretations provided in the December 21, 1990, response to you from Michael D. Ragland, Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Labor.
As you may be aware, the North Carolina Department of Labor administers an OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health program for both private and public sector employers and employees in North Carolina. The state OSHA program is responsible for effectively implementing all facets of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina including providing interpretations of safety and health standards. Federal OSHA monitors state activities to ensure effective state program performance.
To understand the full scope and application of 29 CFR 1910.120 and assure compliance with OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard, you should consider utilizing the services of the North Carolina Division of Consultative Services. On-site consultation on safety and health matters are available, upon request, from the North Carolina Department of Labor.
I hope this information is responsive to your concerns.
Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
December 21, 1990
Joseph Myers Director
Division of Emergency Management
NC Department of Crime Control
and Public Safety
116 West Jones Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-1335
Dear Mr. Myers:
This is in response to your letters dated September 14, 1990 and November 30, 1990 which were received in Commissioner Brooks' office on September 18, 1990 and December 5, 1990, respectively. Your letters raise two points:  varying interpretations of the OSH Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard, 29 CFR 1910.120 (hereafter, 1910.120),  the application of 1910.120 to "the participation of fire departments, rescue squads, county EMS agencies, and law enforcement in exercises and actual response to an incident at a nuclear power plant," and  "defining the initial 'hot zone' in the case of a release at a nuclear plant." Your letter also requested that someone from the staff contact Bob Buchanan of your staff to discuss the nuclear power plant exercise and response issue.
With regard to the issue of varying interpretation being given by different persons, we regret that this may be occurring. Unfortunately, we cannot control statements and interpretations of the 1910.120 Standard which are made by persons who are not employees of the north Carolina Department of Labor. We can, and do, endeavor to assure that interpretations of 1910.120 which issue from within the Department of Labor are consistent and as correct as possible. We would remind you that the only authoritative source of interpretations for 1910.120 in North Carolina is the North Carolina Department of Labor.
As you know, the Department has provided a great deal of training with regard to this particular Standard. With your assistance, we were able to put on ten seminars across the state before the Final Standard became effective. It is regrettable that although all emergency response agencies in the sate were invited, only a little more than 1,000 individuals took advantage of those workshops. Since then, members of our staff have presented further workshops and programs on 1910.120 to hundreds of other emergency responders. Thus, attendees at these programs were given official interpretations of the 1910.120 Standard.
In some respects, the interpretation of the Standard is problematic as there is, as yet, no compliance guidance from federal OSHA. Although we will not necessarily adopt the federal compliance guidance verbatim when it is issued, we will probably rely upon it to some degree. In the absence of federal guidance which would aid in interpreting the 1910.120 Standard, our staff examines each question thoroughly and exercises its best professional judgement in interpreting the Standard. In any instance in which there appear to be significant policy issues or disputes involved in the interpretation of the 1910.120 Standard, senior members of our staff confer and, if necessary, bring the matter to my personal attention. Any questions which arise concerning the Standard should be addressed to Dr. James Oppold, Director, Occupational Safety and Health Division, or to Ann Wall, Director, Right to Know Division.
With regard to your questions about 1910.120 and nuclear plant exercises and incidents, there are a number of factors which we must take into account. First, our understanding is that because radioactive materials are listed as hazardous materials by the United States Department of Transportation, they are also "hazardous substances" under 1910.120(a). Hazardous materials emergency incidents involving "hazardous substances" are covered under 1910.120(q). Responses to incidents involving radioactive materials would, therefore, be covered under 1910.120. Second, exercises would not technically fall within the definition of "emergency response" found in paragraph (a) of the 1910.120 Standard. However, we would expect that exercises aimed at training emergency responders for hazardous materials incidents would be conducted in a fashion which would adequately protect employees and which would also prepare them to perform at the level designated by their employer in an actual hazardous materials incident. Third, under the terms of an agreement with OSHA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would have primary on- site worker safety and health responsibilities at fixed nuclear facilities. In addition, in dealing with workers exposed to radiological hazards, the Department of Labor works closely with the Radiation Protection Division of the Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources.
Finally, I would note that we appreciate your provision to us of the interpretation letter from the regional Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the regional OSHA office. We would like to make a couple of comments about those letters. First, as noted in the FEMA letter, North Carolina is an OSH state-plan state. As the FEMA letter indicates, and as previously noted in this letter, the North Carolina Department of Labor is the only agency empowered to give an authoritative interpretation of, and to enforce, the OSH Act of North Carolina and standards promulgated pursuant to that Act. Second, we do not concur with the following statement which was made in the OSHA Regional Office letter: "firefighters and emergency medical service personnel are required at a minimum to be trained at the first responder operational level." It is the position of the North Carolina Department of Labor that it is the responsibility of the employer to determine the level of training which an employee must receive. The employer's determination as to training level should be based on the duties and functions which the employer expects the employee to perform. Thus, while it is possible that some emergency medical service personnel should be trained at the operations level, it is also possible that some employers will decide that all those employees will be expected to do is recognize the existence of a hazardous materials incident, call for help, and take no further action. Those employees would then train at the Awareness Level. We have also taken the position that, with respect to public sector employers, there should be coordination with the Local Emergency Planning Committee regarding the level of response needed by the community. That decision on level of response needed by the community should also be presented to local elected officials because it is, ultimately, a policy decision.
With regard to your question concerning "hot zones," 1910.120 does not specifically mention "hot zones." 1910.120 does, however, delineate the responsibilities of the Incident Commander and require use of an Incident Command System. One duty of the Incident Commander is to "limit the number of emergency response personnel ... in those areas of potential or actual exposure to incident or site hazards..." (29 CFR 1910.120(q)(3)(v)). Thus, the determination of restricted entry areas is the responsibility of the Incident Commander. It would be possible to have a pre-determined initial restricted zone for a fixed facility if all parties clearly understand that the Incident Commander has the authority to expand or contract it. In any case, the North Carolina Department of Labor would not make that determination in advance.
We thank you for bringing these issues to our attention and request that you continue to raise matters of concern. If we may be of further assistance, please let me know.
Michael D. Ragland
cc: James O. Oppold Ann B. Wall Dayne Brown
Federal Emergency Management Agency
1371 Peachtree Street, NE,
Atlanta, GA 30309
December 13, 1990
MEMORANDUM FOR REGION IV:
DIRECTORS, STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS DIRECTORS, STATE RADIOLOGICAL HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS DIRECTORS, COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS (PLUME EXPOSURE PATHWAY COUNTIES) MANAGERS, NUCLEAR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS (UTILITIES) REGIONAL ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY SPECIAL TERM APPOINTEES
FROM: Glenn C. Woodard, Chief Natural and Technological Hazards Division SUBJ: Distribution of the Response by FEMA to Issues Raised by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD)
Attached for your information and use is a copy of the FEMA response of October 4, 1990, to the Chairperson of the Executive Board of CRCPD. The CRCPD raised many policy and program questions on various aspects of our Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program.
Should you have questions, please contact John Heard at 404/853-4468.
RESPONSE OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) TO ISSUES RAISED BY THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE CONFERENCE OF RADIATION CONTROL PROGRAM DIRECTORS (CRCPD), INC. IN ITS APRIL 25, 1990, CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS.
GENERAL COMMENTS. FEMA's response impacts not only FEMA but also other Federal agencies. Therefore, as Chair of the Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee (FRPCC), we have coordinated our response with other Federal agencies that have responsibilities for the stated areas of concern, including the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
The first four issues raised should be addressed with respect to NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1, Revision 1 ("0654") and Supplement 1, since this is the joint regulatory and guidance basis for both the NRC and FEMA. The planning standards of "0654" are incorporated in the NRC regulation 10 CFR 50.47(b)(1-16). [These standards are also incorporated into FEMA's rule 44 CFR 350.5(a)(1-16)]. Since FEMA provides findings to the NRC based on the criterion of reasonable assurance, it is imperative that offsite radiological emergency preparedness meet the intent of the applicable "0654" planning standards.
FEMA recognizes that an important difference exists between the 16 planning standards of "0654" as incorporated into NRC (and FEMA) regulations and their supporting evaluation criteria. The difference may simply be that the planning standards constitute regulatory requirements and the evaluation criteria represent recommended guidance for meeting the intent of the planning standards for offsite radiological emergency planning and preparedness. As guidance, alternative methods and approaches for meeting the intent of the planning standards may be proposed to FEMA as was done in correspondence from the CRCPD for the first four issues. Our response to recommended alternative for issue 2 is provided below.
1. Estimation of Total Population Exposure (Objective 31)
Objective 31 of the Exercise Evaluation Methodology (EEM) is not an emergency action and, therefore, is not used during an emergency. The calculation of the total population dose is a Federal responsibility.
The function of estimating total population exposure is based on evaluation criterion M.4. of "0654" and is identified as a State and licensee responsibility. In accordance with M.4., states are given the responsibility of establishing a means for the periodic estimation of total population exposure. Since M.4. is an evaluation criterion of planning standard M, it is essential that the capability for this function be developed.
We agree that the estimation of total population exposure is not an emergency action. Consistent with this view, FEMA had already decided to take Objective 31 out of the EEM since this objective can be demonstrated by providing a report 30 to 45 days after exercises. FEMA is now prepared to propose to the NRC that this function be totally disassociated from exercises. However, since states are charged with this responsibility in "0654", they would still be expected to develop a methodology for independently estimating total population exposure for use after actual radiological emergencies. Documentation of the methods developed by states for carrying out this function will still need to be incorporated into State plans. Guidance for developing this methodology will still be provided at a later date.
FEMA intends to discuss this proposed change with the NRC in order to resolve this issue. We anticipate that this changed position will become effective as national policy concurrently with the issuance of the final EEM in December 1990. If exercises are scheduled between now and the end of the year in which states are to demonstrate Objective 31, FEMA is prepared to grant exemptions to any State that requests an exemption.
It is true that the Federal Government will also undertake estimates of total population exposure after accidents involving releases of radioactivity into the environment. In fact, more than one Federal agency will likely make such estimates. However, as indicated above, State governments are also vested with this responsibility.
2. Contamination Surveys of Offsite Persons
A contradiction exists between the 12-hour radiological monitoring provision for evacuees at reception centers and the need to immediately monitor contaminated injured persons and ambulances or other vehicles prior to transport to medical facilities. Put another way, if a 12-hour period is permitted to ensue before surveying the last evacuee for contamination, why is it so critical that contaminated injured persons and transport vehicles be immediately monitored? Also, if one can wait 12 hours for evacuees at reception centers, then there is no need for ambulance personnel to survey the transport vehicles or injured persons. The surveys do not need to be made of persons transported to medical facilities as they can be performed at the medical facilities.
The two referenced provisions for radiological monitoring are based on "0654" evaluation criteria J.12. for monitoring of evacuees at reception centers and L.1, L.3. and L.4. for monitoring of contaminated injured persons in transport and at medical facilities. Additional guidance is provided in the FEMA Guidance Memorandum MS-1, "Medical Services."
The 12-hour period set forth in J.12., "0654", is the time frame for monitoring all evacuees arriving at reception centers, starting with the first evacuee and ending with the last. This period is intended, therefore, to assure that all evacuees arriving at reception centers are monitored. As interpreted in subsequent guidance and supported by the NRC, the number of evacuees established for planning purposes is 20% of the population in the plume pathway emergency planning zone. Monitoring of this potential population within 12 hours will require monitoring of all arriving evacuees to screen them for contamination and, the possible need for decontamination and medical treatment. Since the planning basis assumed in "0654" encompasses a spectrum of accidents ranging from no radioactive releases to low probability, high consequence accidents, it is essential that State and local governments have the capability to effectively radiologically monitor offsite populations. The establishment of a 12-hour period is also intended to assure that evacuees who go to reception centers are not delayed from proceeding to congregate care centers or effecting other personal arrangements.
The monitoring of persons that are being transported to medical facilities for injuries is undertaken (1) to assure that both ambulance and medical facility personnel are aware not only of the physical status of incoming persons, but also their radiological condition and, (2) if the persons are contaminated, to effect appropriate contamination control measures.
If the transporters of contaminated injured persons prefer not to monitor their patients, as you propose, then the ambulance personnel must meet the following conditions: (1) They should assume that their patients are contaminated and take appropriate contamination control actions. (2) The receiving medical facility personnel must assume that the patients are contaminated and, also effect appropriate contamination controls and monitor them. (3) The transport vehicle should not be put back into service until it has been surveyed and, if required, decontaminated. It is also recognized that life-threatening injuries take priority over the need to monitor persons or vehicles for contamination as well as to effect contamination control measures. While we can support your recommended alternative, it is our understanding that ambulance personnel would prefer to know if their patients are contaminated prior to transport and medical facility personnel would prefer to know if their incoming patients are contaminated. Thus, FEMA can support two approaches: either monitor persons prior to transport or defer monitoring to medical facility staff.
In conclusion, we do not believe a contradiction exists between current guidance for radiologically monitoring evacuees at reception centers and monitoring contaminated injured persons requiring transport to medical facilities. Also, we support the recommendation that the radiological monitoring of persons be deferred to medical facility staff provided that the conditions above are met.
3. CRCPD Comments
The function of "plume chasing" should only be considered as a "last resort." Consideration should be given to having utility survey teams undertake field monitoring instead of State governments. It is noted that not all health physics professionals share these concerns.
We prefer to characterize the activity mentioned as "field monitoring." State governments and licensees are given this responsibility under "0654" evaluation criteria I.8., I.10. and I.11. We believe field monitoring should be viewed within two contexts of protective action decision making (PAD); initial PADs and subsequent PADs. For initial PADs, decisions should be based solely on plant status parameters. However, for subsequent PADs, decisions should be based on considerations of both plant status parameters and field monitoring data. In the latter case, the function of field monitoring is twofold: (1) to confirm dose projections based on plant status parameters and (2) to determine if protective actions need to be expanded during the emergency phase.
We do not agree that this responsibility should be vested solely with licensee personnel. As stated, the referenced evaluation criteria I.8. and I.11. are applied to State governments. While not referenced in your comments, Federal radiological monitoring teams will also be available after the initial emergency phase to support State governments.
Consequently, as reflected in "0654", State governments should develop and maintain field radiological monitoring capabilities as the primary governmental authority for the protection of public health and safety. An independent assessment of data is important for State governments to verify and confirm data from other sources (i.e., licensee and Federal personnel). Finally, we share your belief that field monitoring data must be carefully assessed and that decisions based on such data alone be supported by an appropriate and sound data base.
4. Ingestion Pathway Measures
No evaluations should be made of ingestion pathway planning and preparedness until the appropriate Federal agencies fully participate in ingestion-related exercises. National standardized procedures for the sampling and analysis of ingestion-related measures should be developed.
State governments are charged with the responsibility to undertake radiological emergency planning and preparedness for ingestion pathway measures under evaluation criteria J.9. and J.11. States should have an independent capability to obtain samples and sample results in order to independently verify data obtained from sampling activities by other organizations including DOE and EPA. We agree that it would be helpful if there could be greater Federal participation in ingestion exercises. From a strictly fiscal view, it just does not appear to be feasible for significant Federal participation in every ingestion exercise. Resources limitations among Federal agencies have been a principal constraint in the participation level by these agencies to date, in other than Federal Field Exercises and tabletop exercises.
FEMA, through the Instrumentation Subcommittee of the FRPCC, has prepared guidance documents for the sampling and instrumentation necessary to analyze the amount of radioactive contamination in milk, water and other non-dairy foods. FEMA REP-12 (September 1987) and FEMA REP-13 (May 1990) establish criteria that will permit standardized procedures to be completed for sampling and analyzing ingestion-related measures. Also, EPA is engaged in an ongoing effort to develop standardized sampling and analysis procedures for Federal response.
5. Radiological Emergency Plan for Reentry of Radioactive Space Debris
The development of the COSMOS 1900 procedures for the reentry of radioactive space debris is incomplete and should be completed. Also, it is recommended that members of the CRCPD continue to participate in the Health Effects Advisory Group.
The development of the COSMOS 1900 procedures in support of the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan (FRERP) was a positive step in the direction of shared Federal and State participation in anticipation of a radiological emergency that could impact the United States as a result of the reentry of radioactive space debris. The revisions to the FRERP will include a description of the process by which Federal cooperation with appropriate State radiological health and other personnel will be accomplished for such events. Further details are to be provided in the form of agency-specific procedures in support of the FRERP by the involved Federal agencies. FEMA has requested that this work be coordinated through the CRCPD on a continuing basis.
6. Emergency Preparedness for Radiation Accidents for DOD Nuclear Facilities
The DOD should develop and test offsite radiation emergency plans and preparedness for their nuclear facilities such as those developed for commercial nuclear power plants.
Since the CRCPD did not forward the April 25, 1990, letter to the DOD, we have provided a copy to our FRPCC DOD representative, Earl Ashworth. It should be noted that commanders of some DOD facilities with nuclear facilities are engaged in radiological emergency preparedness activities in concert with State and local governments and other Federal agencies, including FEMA Regional staff. For additional information on DOD emergency preparedness activities, you may contact Earl Ashworth at 703-325-6812.
7. Application of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)/Title III Provisions to Radiological Emergencies and to State and Federal Responders
Does Title III of the SARA legislation apply to responders to radiological emergencies? If so, then many problems need to be addressed such as the need to institute annual physical examinations for emergency staff, annual training for use of self- contained breathing equipment, additional record keeping and determination of responsibility for costs. Also, if this law does apply to such emergencies, what responsibility will states have to assure that all Federal responders have received the necessary training to enter restricted areas?
Based on conversations with EPA staff, it is our understanding that the SARA legislation does not apply to radiological emergencies; therefore, Title III of SARA is not applicable to responders to radiological emergencies. We are also aware that you have also directed your comments to EPA. EPA will provide additional information on this matter in their reply to you.
MEMORANDUM TO: Patricia Clark, Director Directorate of Health Compliance Programs FROM: Roger Clark, Director Directorate of Safety Standards Programs SUBJECT: Request for Official Interpretation of 1910.120
My office received the attached request from Joseph F. Myers, Director, North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety for an interpretation of several questions on 29 CFR 1910.120. Since this request requires a written response we are forwarding it to your office for reply in accordance with Agency policy for official interpretations. An interim response telling Mr. Myers that his letter has been forwarded to your office has been prepared and mailed to him.
North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety James G. Martin, Governor Division of Emergency Management Joseph W. Dean, Secretary 116 W.Jones St., Raleigh, N.C. 27603-1335 (919) 733-3867 November 30, 1990
Mr. Roger Clark, Director
Directorate of Safety Standards Programs
U.S. Department of Labor
Francis Perkins Building, Room 3305
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210
Dear Mr. Clark:
In the State of North Carolina, a number of questions have arisen concerning the impact of CFR 1910.120 upon local emergency responders and their participation in the Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program. In particular, the requirements which they must meet prior to participating in either an exercise or actual response to an off-site emergency at a nuclear power plant. We would greatly appreciate any assistance you could provide in clarifying the issues of concern to local emergency responders.
Unfortunately, local responders are being given a number of interpretations of what CFR 1910.120 says and how it impacts their particular organization's response capabilities. This issue is further compounded by the liability factors which place the burden for compliance upon the chiefs of the various local response organizations. The organizations we are referring to are: Fire Departments, Rescue Squads, Emergency Medical Services, and Law Enforcement Agencies. There are three primary issues which need to be resolved.
The first issue is a matter of 1910.120 Emergency Responder Classification Levels. We need a ruling in writing as to what classification levels our emergency responders would be assigned based upon the duties and responsibilities they perform and the type of environment in which they would be working during a nuclear power plant incident. The amount and types of training required is dependent upon their classification level. Once the proper classification is determined, then we would like to know how or if the training requirements in NUREG-0654, Rev. 1 can be integrated into the 1910.120 training requirements to satisfy both regulations.
The second question concerns the "hot zone". In a nuclear power plant release, what standards should be applied in initially defining the "hot zone"? Would or should it initially include the entire ten-mile Emergency Planning Zone, until such time as the Division of Radiation Protection Field Teams can pinpoint the "hot-spots"?
The final issue centers around medical questions. As we understand the regulation, only designated Hazardous Material teams and specialists are required to have annual baseline physicals and medical surveillance. In the Radiological Emergency Response Program to Nuclear Power Plant accidents, is there any agency either at the State or local level which would require annual baseline physicals and medical surveillance?
Any assistance you could give us in getting the answers we need to put an end to the potential for further misinterpretations of CFR 1910.120 would be greatly appreciated. Because a majority of our responders involved are volunteers, the time required for training and the money needed for baseline physicals are of particular concern. I believe it is essential that we adequately and correctly classify our emergency responders in order to ensure the future of our Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program. Attached is a copy of the interpretation received from FEMA Region IV and the Atlanta Office of the U.S. Department of Labor.
If you have any questions, please contact Elaine Wathen of my staff at 919-733-3780. Thank you for your prompt attention and assistance in this matter.
Joseph F. Myers Director
October 25, 1990
Mr. Joseph F. Myers, Director
Division of Emergency Management
1126 West Jones Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-1335
Dear Mr. Myers:
We have received your request for FEMA assistance in the clarification of the impact of 29 CFR 1910.120 on local emergency response personnel, particularly as it pertains to their participation in nuclear power plant exercises and actual off- site emergency response. Your questions centered on appropriate training levels and need for base line physicals.
As you are aware, the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response final rule was issued on March 6, 1989, by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Section 18 of OSHA's Act provides that a state may develop it's own occupational safety and health program that provides, among other things, worker protection "at least as effective as" that protection provided under the Federal program. North Carolina has an OSHA-approved safety and health program that meets that provision and may have promulgated standards that exceed the federal requirements.
We met with the Atlanta Regional OSHA Office staff and received the attached policy interpretation. Please note that it is based directly on the Federal OSHA standard. We understand that you have requested a similar interpretation from the North Carolina Department of Labor which may or may not exceed this policy.
We hope this information is helpful in insuring the continuation of appropriate off-site preparedness activities in North Carolina. If you have any questions, please contact John Heard at 404/853-4468.
Glenn C. Woodard,
Chief Natural and Technological
Hazards Division Attachment
cc: Cynthia P. Wolfe, OSHA, Asst.
for Technical Support
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
1375 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30367
October 17, 1990
MEMORANDUM FOR: MARY LYNN PATE Technical Program Hazardous Specialist Federal Emergency Management Agency FROM: CYNTHIA P. WOLFE Assistant Regional Administrator for Technical Support SUBJECT: Interpretation of the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard
This is in response to the October 16, 1990 meeting you had with Benjamin Ross of my staff. The following information is provided regarding the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety concerning the training of emergency responders, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel, and whether they are required to participate in a medical surveillance program.
The training requirements for employees responding to an emergency involving the release of hazardous substance(s) are outlined in 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(6). The training requirements for emergency response personnel will be dependent upon the duties and functions to be performed by each responder. Firefighters and emergency medical service personnel are required at a minimum to be trained at the "first responder operational level." Again, their duties and functions will determine the level of training to be received.
29 CFR 1910.120(q)(9)-Medical surveillance and consultation states that "members of an organized and designated HAZMAT team and hazardous materials specialists shall receive a baseline physical examination and be provided with medical surveillance as required in paragraph (f) of this section." This standard does not require firefighters or emergency medical service personnel to participate in a medical surveillance program unless (1) they meet the requirements of (q)(9) or (2) the emergency response personnel exhibits signs or symptoms which may have resulted from exposure to hazardous substances during the course of emergency incident.
We appreciate the opportunity to assist you in this matter. Please feel free to contact me or Benjamin Ross of my staff at (404) 347-2281 if you have additional concerns.