Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

July 28, 1994

Ms. Ann Harri
Certified Hazardous Materials Manager
Environmental Consulting
1122 Sixth Street South
Fargo, North Dakota 58103-2747

Dear Ms. Harri:

Thank you for your letter of June 2, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120.

Your question requests clarification on the HAZWOPER refresher training requirements. The standard clearly specifies in paragraph (e)(8) that workers engaged in hazardous waste remedial operations shall receive 8 hours of refresher training annually. You state that a client of yours has interpreted a letter to R. Pelletier (dated June 7, 1991) in the March 1993 edition of the HAZWOPER Interpretive Quips to allow refresher training at intervals of three years. This is not consistent with the plan meaning of the quip.

The R. Pelletier quip comments on an internal company policy specifying that the entire initial 40 hour training be repeated if the worker has gone three years without refresher training. If your client decides that their workers rarely participate in HAZWOPER activities, and they wish to let the refresher training lapse after each remedial operation is completed and then repeat the initial 40-hour course every time they reassign these workers to HAZWOPER activities, that are free to do so.

We have enclosed a letter which may be of interest to you. The letter, addressed to Mr. Jim Heringer (dated march 12, 1993), discusses retraining of workers who have been absent from hazardous waste work for a period of time. Further, a more recent edition of the HAZWOPER Interpretive Quips is now available. We have enclosed a copy for your convince.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact us at (202) 219-8036.


Ruth McCully, Director
Office of Heath Compliance Assistance