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.

January 26, 1993

Warren Houseman
Manager, Health and Safety
IT Corporation
William Penn Plaza
2790 Mosside Boulevard
Monroeville, Pennsylvania 15146-2792

Dear Mr. Houseman:

This is in response to your inquiry of December 17 concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120.

Your question concerns clarification on the application of the HAZWOPER standard to support zone personnel at a CERCLA thermal destruction site. The standard states in paragraph (a)(1) that employees involved in hazardous waste operations are covered by the standard "unless the employer can demonstrate that the operation does not involve employee exposure or the reasonable possibility of employee exposure...."

Since, as you state in your letter, these support zone personnel are administrative staff who do not enter contaminated areas, are not involved in hazardous waste operations, and are not exposed to hazardous substances (based on the results of daily monitoring), OSHA concurs that they are not covered by the standard and the training requirements of 29 CFR 1910.120 do not apply. An evacuation plan is required under 29 CFR [1910.38] and these personnel must be trained in evacuation procedures.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact the [Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190].


Roger Clark,
[Directorate of Enforcement Programs]

December 17, 1992

Ms. Karen Kircher
Health Compliance Assistance
Office Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Ms. Kircher:

The purpose of this letter is to obtain a written response which clarifies the training requirements for support zone personnel at a CERCLA thermal destruction site.

Both the support zone complex and thermal destruction unit are constructed on clean fill material and the administrative staff are not permitted to enter contaminated areas. Real-time air monitoring is performed daily within the support one and only on one occasion were real-time VOC readings in excess of background recorded. At this time, all support zone personnel were evacuated from the site.

All support zone personnel have been trained on site evacuation procedures and have participated in evacuation drills. Are any 29 CFR 1910.120 training requirements applicable to these support zone personnel?


Warren C. Houseman
Health and Safety
IT Corporation

[Corrected 4/15/03]