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.

February 12, 1992

Ms. Elizabeth Cunningham
Eagle Environmental Health, Inc.
4151 Southwest Freeway
Suite 410
Houston, TX 77027

Dear Ms. Cunningham:

This is in response to your inquiry of December 3, 1991 concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response final rule (HAZWOPER), 29 CFR 1910.120.

Your questions concern HAZWOPER training for employees at CERCLA and RCRA sites. We will answer your questions in the order that you asked them:

1. "Is there a minimum training requirement for personnel who work at CERCLA/RCRA sites but who do not at any time enter the decontamination or hot zones? An example of such activity would be construction atop a base of clean fill."

1910.120 does not apply to workers where there is no potential for exposure to hazardous substances found at the cleanup site. In paragraph (a), the first sentence of the standard states: "This section [29 CFR 1910.120] covers the following operations, unless the employer can demonstrate that the operation does not involve employee exposure or the reasonable possibility of employee exposure to safety or health hazards."

Therefore, an exception may be made if the area around the facility is monitored and characterized, demonstrating that no exposure exists around the work area. 29 CFR 1910.120(c) explains how to evaluate sites to determine the appropriate safety and health control procedures. If the results of the monitoring change the boundaries of the hot zone then the site safety and health plan must be modified accordingly.

Employees who work on site, but do not work in contaminated areas, must be made aware of the facility's emergency response plan.

2. "Does such a requirement, if pertinent, include service personnel who are not actively participating in site activities? These individuals may include the UPS delivery men, the Domino's pizza driver, furniture delivery services, or the phone line stinger/installer."

Individuals who are on site and will not participate in site activities or enter contaminated areas, such as UPS delivery people and the Domino's pizza driver, do not need to be trained in accordance with 1910.120(e). However, these people should be made aware of the boundaries of exclusion and where the places of refuge are in case of an emergency.

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


Patricia Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs