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.

October 9, 1992

(Name Withheld)

Dear (Name Withheld):

This is in response to your letter of July 30, addressed to Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin, in which you enclosed a copy of your letter addressed to United Stated Senator Frank Murkowski. Your letter and attachment were forwarded to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for response. Please accept our apology for the delay in responding.

In your letter to Senator Murkowski, you stated that you were unable to gain employment due to what you described as a lack of training that was required by OSHA's standard on Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals. This standard was published as a Final Rule in Volume 57, Number 36 of the Federal Register on Monday, February 24, 1992, and became effective on May 26, 1992. It was developed to prevent or minimize the consequences of exposing employees to the hazards of toxicity, fires, and explosions from catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals. Workplace facilities that include processes involving threshold or greater quantities of highly hazardous chemicals are subject to the PSM standard.

Please refer to the training requirements in the PSM standard at 1910.119(g) "Training" and 1910.119(h) "Contractors." The PSM Standard requires on site employers and contractor employers to assure that their employees are trained in safe and healthful work practices which are necessary to perform their jobs in consideration of the hazards associated with processes involving highly hazardous chemicals. The PSM Standard does not require employers to direct employees to undertake specific training courses nor does it specify who pays for the training. The training may be provided directly by the employer or by an outside vendor. In either case the employer must assure that the training meets the requirements of the standard, including training in the specific safety and health aspects of each process for which training is provided. I am enclosing a copy of the standard for your information.

The State of Alaska operates its own occupational safety and health program under a plan approved by the U.S. Department of Labor pursuant to Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Alaska program is responsible for the protection of the working men and women in Alaska, including the enforcement of occupational safety and health standards and the investigation of workplace complaints and accidents. To address the employment concerns addressed in your letter further, you can contact your state agency at:

               Commissioner Alaska 
               Department of Labor 
               P.O. Box 21149
               Juneau, Alaska  99801

               Telephone:  907-465-2700

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.


Roger A. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs