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.

August 18, 1992

Mr. Michael A. Amen
Riedel Environmental Technologies
4611 N. Channel Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97217

Dear Mr. Amen:

This is in response to your inquiry of May 21 concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120.

Your letter addresses the computer program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called HASP (Health and Safety Plan) which you are required to use by your on-site coordinator. You told OSHA, through written correspondence and phone conversation, that Riedel Environmental Technologies encountered problems with HASP.

We will address your questions in the order that you have asked them:

1. What are the guidelines regarding the use of a mandated EPA format safety plan like the "HASP" versus a company authored narrative site specific safety plan?

HAZWOPER gives employers flexibility in developing safety and health programs. The standard allows for development of general provisions, which would be applicable to a number of sites, and specific requirements applicable only to a particular site or duty. HAZWOPER requires that site-specific provisions be incorporated because generic plans and training may not be suitable for all site activities.

OSHA does not mandate that a specific generic safety and health plan be used. However, HASP, in our understanding, is intended to meet OSHA requirements by specifying appropriate general requirements while providing for the incorporation of necessary specific requirements to a particular work site or subcontractor.

2. On sites with work teams from separate companies, what is the regulatory intent regarding single authorship on site specific safety plans?

The problems which you indicated in your letter, regarding the manner in which site safety and health plans are developed, should be worked out with the EPA on-site coordinator. OSHA does not regulate the manner in which a site safety and health plan is developed, only that it be written and incorporate specific elements.

In general, a site safety and health plan that is organized in a single document would promote efficiency, completeness, clarity and coordination among all parties. Each contractor and subcontractor is responsible for complying with all safety and health requirements for their employees. Riedel Technologies can use the site's safety and health plan to protect its employees if it appropriately addresses all activities and potential safety and health hazards. If all activities and safety and health hazards are not addressed, then Riedel Technologies must create a supplemental plan to cover additional provisions.

Thank you for your concern in the improvement of safety and health at your work site. I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 523-8036.


Patricia Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs