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 http://www.osha.gov.

June 25, 1991

MEMORANDUM FOR:     ALL REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

THROUGH:            LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR 
                   OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS

FROM:               PATRICIA K. CLARK, DIRECTOR 
                   DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

SUBJECT:            Training Issues Under 29 CFR 1910.120

This is in response to the following questions raised by the Denver Regional Office and Boston Regional Office.

1. Question. Is an employer responsible for providing 40 hours of Hazwaste training cost-free?

Answer. Yes. All of the training under 1910.120 is to be provided without cost to employees. The language was drafted similar to the expanded health standards (e.g., benzene, lead).

2. Question. Can an employer require the employee to pay for Hazwaste training via weekly payroll deductions?

Answer. No, not if the employee is entitled to cost- free training under 1910.120.

3. Question. Can an employer use the guise of an employee requesting a loan so he can attend 40 hours of Hazwaste training, and then require the employee to pay back the monies via weekly payroll deductions?

Answer. No, not if the employee is entitled to cost- free training under 1910.120.

4. Question. Can an employer who pays for an affected employee's 40 hours of Hazwaste training, keep the employee's certificate in the event the trained employee leaves the company?

Answer. No. The standard requires that a written certificate be given to each person certified. (See 1910.120(e)(6)).

5. Question. Can an employer refuse to give an employee a certificate for the 40 hour course because he was layed off before he was able to complete the 3 days OJT?

Answer. No. The intent of 1910.120(e)(6) is for the instructor or the head instructor to certify the classroom training once successfully completed. The trained supervisor would certify the field experience once completed. Thus, this could involve two certificates. The employee is entitled to the classroom certificate if the course work was successfully completed.

I hope this information is helpful. We cleared this policy with Daniel Mick, Counsel for Trial and OSHRC litigation.



December 26, 1990

MEMORANDUM FOR:          BYRON R. CHADWICK
                        Regional Administrator - Region VIII

FROM:                    JOHN J. HEALY 
                        Area Director

SUBJECT:                 EMPLOYERS' RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE COST-FREE
                        TRAINING TO AFFECTED EMPLOYEES

BACKGROUND: During a complaint investigation a compliance officer was presented with questions regarding an employer's responsibility to provide cost-free training to affected employees. At this time, I am referring these questions, which are listed below, to you for response.

I. Is an employer responsible for providing 40 hours of Hazwaste Training cost-free? REFERENCE: 1910.120(e)(3)(i)

II. Can an employer require the employee to pay for Hazwaste training via weekly payroll deductions?

III. Can an employer use the guise of an employee requesting a loan so he can attend 40 hours of Hazwaste training, and then require the employee to pay back the monies via weekly payroll deductions?

IV. Can an employer who pays for an affected employee 40 hours of Hazwaste training, keep the employee's certificate in the event the trained employee leaves the company? And, if the employer holds the employee's certificate, and the employee terminates, can the employee or the new employer purchase the employee's certificate from the original employer?

Your response and insight into these questions will be greatly appreciated.