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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1450; 1910.1450(b)

February 15, 2008

Mr. Jeffrey S. Carter
Dvirka and Bartilucci Consulting Engineers
330 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury, NY 11797-2015

Dear Mr. Carter,

Thank you for your letter dated November 21, 2007 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the permissibility of a consultant acting as the designated Chemical Hygiene Officer for a laboratory under 29 CFR 1910.1450. I apologize for the delay in responding to your letter.

In your letter you asked whether the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.1450 permitted laboratory employers to designate an outside consultant as the company's Chemical Hygiene Officer in lieu of a designated employee. As you are aware, the standard defines a Chemical Hygiene Officer as:
an employee who is designated by the employer, and who is qualified by training or experience, to provide technical guidance in the development and implementation of the provisions of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. This definition is not intended to place limitations on the position description or job classification that the designated individual shall hold within the employer's organizational structure. [29 CFR 1910.1450(b); emphasis added].
Additionally, the standard defines an "employee" as "an individual employed in a laboratory workplace who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the course of his or her assignments." [29 CFR 1910.1450(b)]. Thus, 29 CFR 1910.1450 does not permit a laboratory employer to designate a consultant who is not an employee of the laboratory as the Chemical Hygiene Officer. The standard, however, does not preclude employers from soliciting the assistance of a consultant in the development and administration of the Chemical Hygiene Plan.

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 may consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the OSHA Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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