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 7, 1991

Mr. Raymond F. Pelletier
Office of Environmental Guidance
Department of Energy
Washington, D.C. 20585

Dear Mr. Pelletier:

This is in response to your request of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) review of your guidance memorandum for the use of Department of Energy personnel on the applicability of OSHA's training requirements for hazardous waste operations.

OSHA has the following comments on the document you submitted on a page by page basis.

On page two, you set what OSHA believes to be a reasonable policy of requiring the initial training again if a worker has not received the refresher training in three years. This is a reasonable generalization, however, from OSHA's perspective this depends on individual retention of the information and whether the initial or refresher training addressed safety and health issues specific to the types of sites that the worker will be working at. OSHA would look at repeating the initial course on an as needed basis.

On page two, the second paragraph on equivalent training should include the requirement that any employee designated as "equivalently trained" is capable of performing their job duties in a safe and healthful manner. Additionally, any safety and health professional designated as "equivalently" trained would need site specific, training.

On page five, in the description of "Routine and occasional workers" please replace the last word "required" with "sufficient". The "8-hr supervisor training" should have "(in addition to the 40 or 24 hour initial training)" inserted below the "8-hr supervisor training" title. The "Briefing" title should read "Briefing on site safety, emergency procedures and other appropriate site specific information".

The paragraph beginning at the bottom of page five and continuing on to page six is not necessarily correct. "Equivalently trained" employees must have sufficient training to safely perform their job duties. This entails training on the safety and health hazards specific to a particular site. All safety and health professionals do not necessarily meet the requirements (a function of their job tasks and responsibilities) of training, particularly in regard to the on the job training component and site specific training component.

Page six, certified employees (employees previously trained), new to a site may need to have supervised field experience at the new site per 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(9). One needs to consider on a case by case basis whether it is sufficient to apply field experience from one site to another.

Attachment 2, additional training topics mandated by 1910.120 for workers are:

a.) Confined space entry. b.) Spill containment program. c.) Personnel/alternates responsible for site safety and health. d.) Hazards on site.

Topics c and d might be reasonably covered in the site safety briefing; if this is the case, a footnote to this table could indicate that fact.

Additional training topics mandated in paragraph (e)(4) for the supervisors training session are;

a.) Employee's safety and health program. b.) Employee's training program. c.) Spill containment program. d.) Health hazard monitoring procedures and techniques.

Attachment four, the training certificate example needs to certify that "equivalently trained" individuals have received the required number of days of on the job training.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact MaryAnn Garrahan at (202) 523-8036.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

April 11, 1991

Ms. Patricia Clarke, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA
Francis Perkins Bldg., Room N-3469
200 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Ms. Clarke:

During the past several months, my office has been developing a guidance memorandum for the use of Department of Energy personnel on the applicability of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training requirements to hazardous waste operations. I understand that Jean Schumann of my staff has spoken to Mary Ann Garrahan of your office during development of this guidance and her input has been very helpful. Ms. Garrahan also suggested that we might benefit from OSHA review of the guidance. Accordingly, I am enclosing a copy of the draft guidance document and would appreciate it if your office could review the draft and provide comments. If possible, we would like to receive comments by May 10, 1991. I am also sending a copy of the draft to Mr. Rodney Turpin of the Environmental protection Agency for review.

If your office is unable to provide comments by this date, or if you have other questions regarding the guidance, please don't hesitate to call me at (202) 586-8505, or Jean Schumann at 586-7769. Thank you for your assistance.


Raymond F. Pelletier
Office of Environmental Guidance