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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.120; 1910.120(e)(8)

July 17, 2008

Ms. Barbara McCabe, Program Manager
International Union of Operating Engineers
National HAZMAT Program
1293 Airport Road
Beaver, WV 25813

Dear Ms. McCabe:

Thank you for your letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs. You have requested an interpretation of the International Union of Operating Engineers' (IUOE) offering of a combination training course that would meet both the refresher training requirement in the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard, 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(8), for employees involved in clean-up operations of hazardous substances at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, and the OSHA 10-hour construction industry outreach training program. 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. Your question is rephrased below followed by OSHA's response.

Background: Your letter states that when an IUOE member must attend the refresher training course required under 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(8) and the OSHA 10-hour construction industry outreach training program, a total of 18 training hours is required, 8 hours for the HAZWOPER refresher training and 10 hours for the construction industry outreach training course. You state that there is some redundancy in these two training programs, and you are proposing a 12-hour combination class to meet both training program requirements.

Question: Would a single 12-hour combination class that meets both the HAZWOPER refresher training requirement under 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(8) and the OSHA 10-hour construction industry outreach training program allow our members to receive credit for both training courses?

Response: It is OSHA's policy to not endorse or approve of any training program or trainers. It is the responsibility of an employer to provide the necessary HAZWOPER training, including any annual refresher training, based on the employee's role and responsibilities (e.g., general site worker) during a site cleanup operation. The HAZWOPER standard is a performance-oriented rule, which allows an employer to develop a training curriculum that best fits their needs, provided that the appropriate subjects or topics are covered as required by the standard.

OSHA does not intend for the employer to duplicate efforts in complying with our standards. Instruction provided to employees in order to comply with the training requirements of both the HAZWOPER standard and the 10-hour construction industry outreach course may be considered "equivalent training" as long as all of the applicable training subjects or topics are addressed. OSHA does not certify individuals as properly or equivalently trained. Rather, the employer must show by documentation or certification that an employee's work experience and/or training have resulted in training equivalency.

Therefore, a 12-hour combination-training program may be offered, provided the appropriate subjects or topics for the HAZWOPER refresher training and also those subjects or topics required in the OSHA guidelines for the 10-hour construction industry outreach training are both satisfied. The employer must retain a written document which clearly identifies the employee who was trained, the person who certified the employee as equivalently trained, the certifier's qualifications, and the training materials which demonstrate that the training requirements for both courses have been met.

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 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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