Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.120(f); 1910.120(l)(3)
• Status: Archived

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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

May 23, 1989

Mr. Lanny E. Partain
Fire, Safety & Security Supervisor
Unocal Corporation
P.O. Box 237
Nederland, Texas 77627

Dear Mr. Partain:

This is in response to a letter from Mr. Douglas L. Hazelwood from the Earth Technology Corporations on behalf of Unocal Corporation. This inquiry requests interpretations of specific provisions of OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response interim final rule (29 CFR 1910.120). I apologize for the delay in this response. The great volume of correspondence has overwhelmed the staff and resulted in delayed responses to public inquiries.

The first question asks which of the following emergency response personnel are required under 29 CFR 1910.120 to be included in a medical surveillance program:

a. Employees who contain fires as opposed to taking aggressive action to fight fires?

b. Employees who take aggressive action to fight fires?

c. Employees that may be required to perform emergency repairs wearing self-contained breathing apparatus to protect against the inhalation of toxic vapors?

Employees in a. above are not covered by 29 CFR 1910.120(f) if their function is to contain the release from a safe distance. Regardless of 29 CFR 1910.120 coverage, employers are required under 29 CFR 1910.156(b)(2) to assure that employees who are expected to do interior structural fire fighting are physically capable of performing duties which may be assigned to them during emergencies.

Employees in b. and c. above are covered by 29 CFR 1910.120(f), as a result of 29 CFR 1910.120(l)(4)(ii), if incidents may involve hazardous substances as defined in 29 CFR 1910.120.

The second and final question concerns what training provisions under 29 CFR 1910.120 are applicable for a non-cleanup company that has an emergency response team that responds to releases of or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances on the company's property.

Under the interim final standard, at least 24 hours of annual training conducted on a monthly basis is required under 29 CFR 1910.120(l)(3). For further guidance, paragraph (q) of the final standard (copy attached) specifies various levels of training depending on the job functions of the employees. The final standard was issued March 6, 1989, and becomes effective March 6, 1990. OSHA in its enforcement discretion will not issue citations under the interim final rule if an employer is in compliance with the final standard.

I hope this information is helpful.

Sincerely,

Patricia K. Clark, Acting Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


Enclosure



February 28, 1989

Mr. Tom Shepich
Health Compliance Division
Room N 3463
U.S. Department of Labor
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Mr. Shepich:

We are writing on behalf of our client Unocal Corporation, to request interpretations of specific provisions of 29 CFR 1910.120. We would appreciate your providing written interpretations at your earliest convenience to:

Lanny E. Partain
Fire, Safety & Security Supervisor
Unocal Corporation
P.O. Box 237
Nederland, Texas 77627

The two issues on which we are requesting interpretations are as follows:

1. Medical Surveillance - Paragraph (f)

Which of the following emergency response personnel should be included in a medical surveillance program (all are company employees and none would be requested to respond to emergencies off of plant property):

a. Employees who may be called upon to staff a fire brigade if the fire bridage's responsibilities are to contain fires as opposed to taking aggressive action to fight fires? These personnel may be required to wear heat-protective clothing (bunker gear) and, possibly, self-contained breathing apparatus to prevent inhalation of toxic fumes associated with the fire.

b. Employees as described in 1.a. above that may take aggressive action to fight fires, such as entering an emergency area under cover of a fog spray that protects them from heat exposures land allows the fire to be fought from close quarters.

c. Employees that may be required to perform emergency repairs wearing self-contained breathing apparatus to protect against the inhalation of toxic vapors.

None of the above personnel would be expected to wear a respirator 30 or more days per year or be exposed to toxic chemicals over established safe levels for 30 or more days per year.

2. Training - Paragraph (l)(3 and (l)(4)

Would employees of a private corporation who may serve as part of an on-site emergency response team, fire brigade or spill response team be required to receive the additional 24 hour/year, monthly training? These employees would not respond to any off-site incidents but may provide the varying level of support described in 1.a., 1.b., or 1.c. above. Would the training requirement (with regard to (l)(3) vary between the three examples provided?

Also, can routine skills training, such as those handling drills, be counted as part of the 24 hour/year monthly training?

Please note that we have received differing verbal interpretations of these questions from personnel in your Dallas and Washington, D.C. offices. As we are attempting to assure that our client is in full compliance with appropriate requirements in a timely fashion, anything you could do to expedite receipt of the requested interpretations would be sincerely appreciated.

Should you have any questions concerning this request, please do not hesitate to contact me or Mary Savage at 549-8728. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.

Sincerely,

THE EARTH TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (Washington, DC Division)

Douglas L. Hazelwood
Technical Director


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.


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents