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 http://www.osha.gov.

January 31, 1994

Mr. Edward E. Hartin
Vice President of Operations
HAZMAT Training Information Services, Inc.
9017 Red Branch Road
Columbia, MD. 21045

Dear Mr. Hartin:

This is in response to your letter of September 17th concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response regulation (HAZWOPER), 29 CFR 1910.120. Please accept my apology for the delay in this reply.

You seek guidance in determining whether a particular company's hazardous materials technicians, who respond and work together within the context of the company's designated Incident Command System are considered by OSHA to be members of a HAZMAT team, thereby subject to the medical surveillance requirements defined under 29 CFR 1910.120(q).

If the hazardous materials technicians described in your letter will be expected, as part of their regular job duties, to respond offensively to uncontrolled releases of hazardous substance, they would be considered "members of an organized and designated HAZMAT team" requiring participation in a medical surveillance program. Paragraph (a)(3) of the HAZWOPER standard defines a HAZMAT team as "an organized group of employees, designated by the employer, who are expected to perform work to handle and control actual or potential leaks or spills of hazardous substances requiring possible close approach to the substance... ." The determination of whether a group of employees constitutes a HAZMAT team should be based on job duties (i.e., whether or not they would be required to assist in emergency response) and the potential for exposures during a release incident; the response team would not need to be called a "HAZMAT team" per se. Based on the information you have provided, it appears that the hazardous materials technicians described in your letter must be designated by the employer as members of a HAZMAT team since they may be required to respond "and work together" to control emergency releases throughout the facility as part of a company-wide emergency response team.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.

Sincerely,



Roger Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs




September 17, 1993

Mr. Roger Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Sir:

Thank you for your reply to my March 22, 1993 letter regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120. I have one additional question regarding the classification of personnel trained as Hazardous Materials Technicians as members of a HAZMAT team.

Conditions: A company has trained all (or a large number of) its employees at a facility to the 24-hour Hazardous Materials Technician level. Within the context of the facility emergency response plan, all employees who are trained to the Technician level may be required to respond to releases throughout the facility (larger than incidental releases and outside their normal work area). These employees are not specifically identified or designated in the plan as a HAZMAT team, but do respond and work together within the context of the company's designated Incident Command System.

Question: Are the employees at this facility who have been trained to the 24-hour Hazardous Materials Technician level considered to be members of a "HAZMAT team", therefore; subject to the medical surveillance requirements for said HAZMAT team members?

If your require additional information or clarification of this question, please contact me at (410) 964-0940. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely yours,



Edward E. Hartin
Vice President of Operations