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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

January 30, 1991

Mr. Tom Crowther Chairman
Regulatory Issues Committee
New England Consortium Advisory Board
University of Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts 01854

Dear Mr. Crowther:

This is in response to your most recent inquiry of January 8, concerning enforcement guidelines for the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (29 CFR 1910.120).

You have asked whether checking for compliance with this standard would be mandated for every inspection in the same way that it is now required for the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). As I mentioned in our October 31, 1990 letter to you, we are updating the enforcement guidelines on this standard. The issue you raised is being considered during this process. In the interim, general inspection procedures in our Field Operations Manual address the evaluation of an employer's emergency response procedures. (Copies of pertinent sections are enclosed.)

We hope you find this information helpful.


Gerard F. Scannell
Assistant Secretary