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 12, 1991

Mr. Marc B. Evans
Blasland & Bouck Engineers, P.C.
Engineers and Geoscientists
6723 Towpath Road
Box 66
Syracuse, New York 13214

Dear Mr. Evans,

This is in response to your inquiry of May 8, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response final rule (29 CFR 1910.120). Please accept my apology for the delay in the reply to your letter of January 30.

Your specific question relates to the certification of current employees with previous experience and training in hazardous waste operations and training certificates for employees trained in house.

Paragraph (e)(9) delineates the requirements for certifying an employee as equivalently trained, who, will then not be required to complete the initial 40 hour training. This paragraph is written with performance language to allow organizations to develop internal criteria specific to their needs for certifying current employees as equivalently trained.

Your criteria for certifying a current employee as equivalently trained appears adequate. All employees certified as equivalently trained, and new to a site, must also receive appropriate site specific training before site entry and have appropriate supervised field experience at the new site. These employees would be required to have 8 hours of refresher training per year. OSHA concurs with your intention to issue training certificates to those employees that have attended a 40 hour in house training course but whom did not receive a certificate from their instructor, assuming that these employees have also completed the required supervised field experience.

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


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs