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• Standard Number: 1910.120

March 12, 1993

Jim Heringer, Administrator
Corporate Industrial Hygiene and Safety
Harding Lawson Associates
7655 Redwood Boulevard
Post Office Box 578
Novato, California 94948

Dear Mr. Heringer:

This is in response to your inquiry of December 2, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120.

Your questions concern clarification on lapsed refresher training. We will answer your questions in the order stated in your letter.

a. In cases where an individual has completed a 40-hour or 24-hour health and safety training for hazardous waste sites, when must a refresher course be completed (e.g. if an individual completes the 40-hour or 24-hour course in March of one year, must the individual complete a refresher by March of the following year or may the individual complete the refresher any time during the following calendar year even up to December 31?)

OSHA's intent is that employees should complete their refresher training within twelve months of their initial training, although we do understand that courses may be missed due to unavoidable circumstances. The employee who misses a refresher training should attend the next available refresher course. Please note that in some states operating their own OSHA-approved state safety and health program, refresher training must be completed by the exact anniversary of the initial training. As you may be aware, 23 states operate their own state program.

b. In cases where an individual has not worked in the hazardous waste industry for a period of time, how does the individual become eligible to return to work on a hazardous waste site (i.e., may an individual be qualified to return to hazardous waste work with only a refresher course or must the individual take the 40-hour or 24-hour course over)? What are the time requirements to differentiate these different cases: Example: Is two years between training too long? Is it okay to just complete a refresher if the individual has been without training for seven or more years?

The time frame within which it would be necessary to provide extensive retraining for an individual who has not worked in the hazardous waste industry for some time must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Individual retention of information must be considered, which may be influenced by the duration of prior work in the hazardous waste industry. Workers who had very little work experience before leaving can not be expected to retain their skills to the extent a seasoned employee would. Another important factor is the applicability of past course content and work experience to the specific work activities and safety and health issues of hazardous waste sites to which the employee is to be assigned. Employees need not retrain in those training elements for which they can demonstrate competency.

In many cases, a two year absence from hazardous waste work would not necessitate repetition of the course materials of the initial 24-hour or 40-hour training, and refresher training by itself could be sufficient. However, a seven year absence would clearly indicate a need for extensive retraining, with particular attention given to new technology. In such cases the employer may wish to consider repeating the initial training course. In some cases, for example an individual who has been away for three or four years, the employer may determine that, while repeating all of the training materials in the initial course is not warranted, more than eight hours of training would be required to refresh the employee's knowledge and skills. In all cases employees new to a site would need to be given appropriate site-specific training before site entry and be given supervised field experience at the site to which they are assigned.

c. In cases where an individual has completed the required 40- or 24-hour training and supervisory training, then either no longer works as a supervisor or leaves the hazardous waste industry for a period of time and then returns to become a supervisor, must the individual retake the supervisory training?

Retraining is not necessary where the employee can demonstrate competency in the required training topics. Please note, however, that many of the training topics which are to be included in the supervisory training are site-specific in nature. Therefore, regardless of past supervisory training, a supervisor new to a site would need training to become familiar with the following, as required in paragraph (e)(4) of the standard:

"the employer's safety and health program and the associated employee training program, personal protective equipment program, spill containment program, and health hazard monitoring procedure and techniques."

(Correction 07/27/00)

"the employer's safety and health program, personal protective equipment program, spill containment program, and health hazard monitoring procedure and techniques."

d. In the case of individuals who after completing 40-hour or 24-hour training for whatever reason do not complete the required supervised field work requirement, is there any time limit placed on these individuals to complete this required supervised field work before their training becomes outdated and must be retaken?

Please refer to the answer to question (b). Supervised field experience is needed to reinforce knowledge and skills learned during training. Optimally, the individual should receive their supervised field experience as soon as possible after training. A case by case determination should be made, based on an assessment of the individual's competency in the specified training topics.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact us at [(202) 693-2190].

Sincerely,

Roger A. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs





December 2, 1992

Facsimile 202-219-9187

Director of Compliance Programs
U. S. Department of Labor
OSHA
Francis Perkins Bldg., Room N3119
200 Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Sir:

In the performance of our work on hazardous waste sites and operations, questions have arisen about the allowable length of time between the completion of a 40-hour or 24-hour hazardous waste health and safety training course and 8-hour refresher courses. Specifically, the questions are as follows:

a. In cases were an individual has completed a 40-hour or 24-hour health and safety training for hazardous waste sites, when must a refresher course be completed (e.g. if an individual completes the 40-hour or 24-hour course in March of one year, must the individual complete a refresher by March of the following year or may the individual complete the refresher any time during the following calendar year even up to December 31)?

b. In cases where an individual has not worked in the hazardous waste industry for a period of time, how does the individual become eligible to return to work on a hazardous waste site (i.e. may an individual be qualified to return to hazardous waste work with only a refresher course or must the individual take the 40-hour or 24-hour course over)? What are the time requirements to differentiate these different cases? Example: Is two years between training too long? Is it okay to just complete a refresher if the individual has been without training for seven or more years?

c. In cases where an individual has completed the required 40 or 24-hour training and supervisory training, then either no longer works as a supervisor or leaves the hazardous waste industry for a period of time and then returns to become a supervisor, must the individual retake the supervisory training?

d. In the case of individuals who after completing a 40-hour or 24-hour training for whatever reason do not complete the required supervised field work requirement, is there any time limit placed on these individuals to complete this required supervised field work before their training becomes outdated and must be retaken?

I would appreciate receiving your comments at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Jim Heringer, Administrator
Corporate Industrial Hygiene and Safety


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