- Standard Number:
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.
September 19, 2007
Mr. Richard S. Levin, PG
Manager, Engineering and Geosciences Department
TAK Environmental Services
2334 E. Hwy. 100
Bunnell, FL 32110
Dear Mr. Levin,
Thank you for your July 16, 2007 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA. You have requested OSHA's interpretation of the trainer qualification requirements of the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard, 29 CFR 1910.120, as they apply to three of your employees at TAK Environmental Services, Inc. ("TAK"). This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not detailed in your original correspondence. The scenario you presented and our reply are below.
Scenario: In your letter to OSHA, you included copies of documents detailing the experience, education, training, and certification of three of your employees at TAK. You requested that OSHA review these documents and provide an interpretation as to whether these individuals meet OSHA's qualifications for trainers under paragraph 1910.120(e)(5) of the HAZWOPER standard. You also request OSHA's position on using an in-house training program instead of having your employees trained through an outside provider.
Response: OSHA does not approve, certify, or endorse individual trainers, nor training programs. It is the responsibility of the employer to determine if the trainer(s) meets the requirements and qualifications under HAZWOPER. As you note in your letter, the standard identifies qualified trainers as those who have satisfactorily completed an instructional program or who otherwise have the academic credentials and instructional experience necessary to teach a HAZWOPER training program. In other words, a trainer must be able to demonstrate proficiency and understanding of the material to be transmitted to trainees and have some credentials or experience in training others. We also note that trainers must continue to attend training in order to maintain their knowledge and skills base.
Based on the provided resumes, transcripts, certificates, documented trainer experience, and their listed field experience in hazardous waste cleanup operations, these employees appear to demonstrate knowledge and expertise in this field and may satisfy the trainer qualification requirements under 1910.120(e)(5).
With regard to the in-house training that TAK provides to its own employees, the standard does not prohibit the use of an in-house training program, so long as the qualifications and requirements under 1910.120(e) are met. Paragraph 1910.120(e) of the standard is written in performance-based language to allow employer's flexibility in developing an appropriate training program that will provide employees with the necessary regulatory and technical knowledge and skills, including hands-on use of equipment and personal protective equipment. Appendix E to the standard provides non-mandatory compliance guidelines that may provide assistance in developing an in-house training curriculum that meets the requirements of 1910.120(e).
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190.
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs