Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1910.120; 1910.120(h); 1910.120(b)(1)(v); 1910.120(c)(7); 1910.120(b)(1)(iv); 1910.120(e)(1); 1910.120(e)(3); 1910.1020|
|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.|
August 19, 1988
Dr. Paul W. Jonmaire
Ecology and Environment, Inc.
Buffalo Corporate Center
368 Pleasantview Drive
Lancaster, New York 14086
Dear Dr. Jonmaire:
This is in response to your June 24 letter, concerning several interpretation issues pertaining to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response
First, regarding air monitoring, you questioned whether the use of colorimetric indicator tubes for specific gases and vapors is a useful approach for any or all of
1) OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs),
2) National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended exposure limits (PELs),
3) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists threshold limit values (TLVs), and
4) Other scientific information such as contained in Material Safety Data Sheets.
Therefore, based on site, hazards, and exposure specific considerations, a range of monitoring techniques may be employed to comply with Section (h) requirements, to include personal protection equipment decision-making. These techniques might include NIOSH standard methods, direct reading instruments, colorimetric indicator tubes, and other methods appropriate to the site conditions. The OSHA
Second, regarding the site safety and health plan requirements, you questioned whether it is preferable to have one safety plan for all site activities and workers; or to have a contractor-specific, operation-specific plan for each of the contractors involved. The OSHA
If contractor and sub-contractor services are retained, then the site employer must apprise them of the overall site safety and health plan ([1910.120(b)(1)(iv)]). This must include information on any potential fire, explosion, health or other safety hazards of the hazardous waste operation that have been identified by the employer. Each contractor/sub-contractor, however, is in addition, responsible for compliance with all safety and health protection requirements for their employees. In terms of the overall site safety and health plan, documentation may appear in a range of formats. In general, a site plan organized as a single document, with component subsections/appendices covering all tasks, operations, and contractors, may promote use efficiency; enhance completeness, clarity, and coordination among all affected parties; and facilitate compliance inspection.
Third, regarding training and medical fitness, you questioned whether documentation must always be available onsite for employees, or if it is adequate for an employer to provide this information to the (OSHA) inspector within a reasonable time period. You further posed a "reasonable time" definition of several days. Under separate rule, 1910.1020, "Access to employee exposure and medical records," OSHA has made several timeframe clarifications. For an employee or designated representative Section (e)(1), "Access to Records, General," states that the employer shall ensure that access is provided to records in a reasonable time, place, and manner, but in no event later than fifteen (15) days after the request for access is made. For OSHA inspection access, however, Section (e)(3) states that each employer must assure immediate access to employee exposure and medical records, and to analyses using exposure or medical records. Although training records are not specifically referenced, this timeframe guidance is also relevant. At the discretion of the OSHA Area Director, adequate flexibility to accommodate alternative management configurations may be made on a case specific basis.
I hope this information is helpful.
[This document was edited on 1/17/03 to strike information that no longer reflects current OSHA policy.]
Thomas J. Shepich, Director
[Directorate of Enforcement Programs]
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