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.

September 1, 1994

Dana Ripley, C.I.H. Ripley Health Services 1608 Crescent Drive Kingsport, Tennessee 37664

Dear Ms. Ripley:

Thank you for your letter of May 2, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120. You request clarification on the applicability of HAZWOPER emergency response training requirements to workers who change leaking chlorine cylinders in a water treatment facility.

The potential for an emergency release of chlorine certainly exists in a water treatment facility; and, therefore, HAZWOPER is applicable. All employees who work in an area where there is potential for an emergency must have sufficient awareness training to recognize that an emergency response situation exists and to initiate emergency response procedures by notifying the response team. You may find that you are able to integrate this awareness level training into the hazard communication program required by 29 CFR 1910.1200. Training beyond first responder awareness level will depend on the roles you assign your employees in your emergency response plan.

In response to question 2, where you wish to know if the activity is an emergency response when workers who are monitored "back off" when the IDLH level is approached or exceeded. Waiting to evacuate until chlorine monitors indicate that the IDLH level has been approached or exceeded is not an acceptable practice. Adequate training, personal protective equipment and the use of monitoring equipment are all requirements of the HAZWOPER standard. For further assistance with the clarification of the scope and training requirements of the HAZWOPER standard, enclosed is a copy of our field directive and "interpretive quips."

As you may be aware, the State of Tennessee administers its own occupational safety and health program under a plan approved and monitored by Federal OSHA. Therefore, employers in Tennessee must comply with State occupational safety and health requirements. States are required to adopt and enforce occupational safety and health standards at least as effective as those promulgated by Federal OSHA and may be more stringent. If you would like further information requirements, you may contact the Tennessee Department of Labor directly at the following address:

Tennessee Department of Labor 501 Union Building Suite "A" - 2nd Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0655

Telephone: (615) 741-2582

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact the Tennessee Department of Labor.


John B. Miles, Jr. Director Directorate of Compliance Programs