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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

December 4, 1991

Mr. Patrick C. Conley
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Department of Military Affairs
Division of Disaster and Emergency Services
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-6168

Dear Mr. Conley:

This is in response to your letter of October 30, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Accreditation of Training Programs for Hazardous Waste Operations; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (29 CFR 1910.121).

29 CFR 1910.121 is currently in rule making. You may want to monitor the progress of this new standard and anticipate needed changes in your training and certification programs to ensure continued compliance. Please find a copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking enclosed.

The training programs required to be accredited under this proposed regulation are found in the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard (HAZWOPER), 29 CFR 1910.120, paragraphs (e) and (p). These training programs are required for employees involved in clean-up operations required by a governmental body involving hazardous substances; corrective actions involving cleanup operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); voluntary clean up operations at sites recognized by a governmental body; and operations involving hazardous waste that are conducted at RCRA permitted treatment storage and disposal (TSD) facilities. 29 CFR 1910.121 does not propose to accredit training programs for employees engaged in emergency response activities.

Currently OSHA does not certify individuals or approve training programs. It is the employer who must show by documentation or certification that an employee's work experience and/or training meets the requirements in HAZWOPER. There must be a written document which clearly identifies the employee, the person certifying the employee, and the training and/or past experience which meets the requirements. One possibility would be to include this information in the employee's personnel file. The preferred method is to include this information on a separate certificate for each employee.

For suggestions and assistance in developing training programs you may want to contact: the OSHA Training Institute at (708) 297-4810; your OSHA Regional Office (Region IV) at (404) 347- 2281; your OSHA approved state plan office, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, at (502) 564-3070); or the OSHA Consultation Services for the Employer at (502) 564-6895.

We hope this information has helped you. If you have any further questions regarding current HAZWOPER training please feel free to contact us at (202) 523-8036.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs