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.



April 20, 1993

Mr. Marc B. Evans
Manager, Safety and Health
Blasland, Bouck & Lee
6723 Towpath Road, Box 66
Syracuse, New York 13214-0066

Dear Mr. Evans:

This is in response to your inquiry of December 9, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (29 CFR 1910.120), Medical Services and First Aid (29 CFR 1910.151), and Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030) regulations.

Your question concerns clarification on first aid requirements for hazardous waste sites. Paragraph (l) of the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard addresses requirements for emergency response at hazardous waste clean-up operations. Subparagraph (l)(2)(viii) requires that emergency medical treatment and first aid be addressed in the employer's emergency response plan. The standard does not specifically require that on-site personnel be designated and trained to provide first aid. However, the Medical Services and First Aid standard (29 CFR 1910.151), is applicable at hazardous waste sites, and requires that personnel be trained to render first aid whenever outside medical assistance "in near proximity to the workplace" is not available.

[For OSHA's current policy on "near proximity," please see the 01/16/2007 Letter to Mr. Brogan.]

In the case of operations at a hazardous waste site, accident victims may be located in contaminated areas of the site. If first-aiders will be expected to enter contaminated areas they must be trained under 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(3)(ii) as a minimum and equipped with personal protective equipment appropriate to the hazards of the site. Therefore the employer may find that the simplest solution is to train hazardous waste workers on-site to render first aid and CPR.

You also inquired whether this requirement to train first aiders in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.151[(b)] would mean that these personnel are covered by the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030. The key to the issue of coverage under the Bloodborne Pathogens rule is not whether employees have been trained in first aid, but whether they are also designated as responsible for rendering medical assistance. The employer is free to provide first aid training without designating the employee as a first-aid provider covered under the scope of 29 CFR 1910.1030. However, providing first aid training in order to comply with a specific requirement of another OSHA regulation such as 29 CFR 1910.151 would constitute a de facto designation of these employees for the purposes of coverage under the Bloodborne Pathogens rule.

Further, site employees who are neither trained nor "designated" in the site emergency response plan or site safety and health plan, and who are, nonetheless, expected or directed to render first aid during a first aid incident would also be covered under the scope of 29 CFR 1910.1030. They must likewise be provided the protection of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, including training, personal protective equipment, and post-exposure follow-up in the event of an exposure incident.

Please note that OSHA has recently issued a policy statement specifying that, while designated first aid providers are covered under the scope of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, failure to offer the hepatitis B vaccine pre-exposure to persons who render first aid only as a collateral duty will be considered a de minimis violation carrying no penalties, provided that a number of conditions are met. In many cases, hazardous waste workers trained to render first aid could meet the de minimis criteria for collateral duty first aiders. Please see the attached news release for details.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact us at [(202) 693-1850].


Roger Clark, Director
Directorate of [Enforcement] Programs

[Corrected 06/13/07]

December 9, 1992

Ms. Maryanne Garrahan
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health
Washington, D.C. 20210

Re: First Aid/CPR Training Requirements Under HAZWOPER

Dear Ms. Garrahan:

As per our brief discussion December 9, 1992, I am requesting interpretive information regarding the requirements for first aid/CPR under HAZWOPER. The only section that I can identify which references first aid is in section (l)(2)(viii) Emergency medical treatment and first aid. Section (l)(2) only requires that the emergency response plan "address, as a minimum" emergency medical treatment and first aid. The same does not suggest that on-site personnel be first aid trained, but rather that the need for emergency medical and first aid be addressed in the emergency response plan. Addressing this could be interpreted to mean arranging for off-site medical emergency and first aid assistance. However, the need for immediate response in any emergency coupled by the remoteness of most HAZWASTE field activities dictates that there be someone on-site who is first aid/CPR trained. How is this resolved?

Since Bloodborne Pathogens includes "designated first aid providers," training such responders for HAZWASTE type activities appears to be a disincentive if one is desirous of not having to comply with 1910.1030. Consequently, how is OSHA interpreting 1910.120 regarding the need to have someone on-site trained and designated as a first aid/CPR responder? If not specifically included in 1910.120, would the general duty clause apply? How does 1910.151 apply to HAZWASTE vs. plant environments? How does OSHA interpret the wording in 1910.151 "in near proximity to the workplace"?

In a July 1, 1992 Compliance Directive On Enforcing Bloodborne Pathogens, the term "designated" is used. What does that mean? Is it possible to train field staff in first aid/CPR, but not "designate" them, say in the site health & safety plan, as first aid responders so as to fall outside 1910.1030? If we have first aid/CPR trained field staff that have been so designated in past health & safety plans, can we now stop re-certifying them as first aid/CPR responders and also stop designating them as such

These are issues I am personally struggling with in my job. The answers to these issues will assist me in deciding whether to continue our efforts in first aid/CPR training as well as whether or not my firm must comply with 1910.1030. Your attention and response to these issues is very much appreciated.

Very truly yours,


Marc B. Evans CIH/CSP
Manager, Safety And Health