August 27, 1991
Mr. Robert L. Brooks
Right to Know Management Systems Incorporated
113 Wembley Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19808
Dear Mr. Brooks:
This is in response to your inquiry of July
29, concerning the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazardous
Waste Operations and Emergency Response final
rule (29 CFR 1910.120).
Your specific question relates to the
scope and application of 1910.120 concerning
home heating oil distributors.
For an employer to be covered by this
rule, employees must be engaged in one of
the following operations:
Hazardous waste operations under the Comprehensive
Environmental Response Compensation and Liability
Act, including any initial investigations
of the site prior to identification of exposures.
Corrective actions involving cleanup conducted
under Resource Conservation and Recovery
Operations at State or local government designated
hazardous waste sites.
Operations involving hazardous waste storage,
treatment, and disposal facilities regulated
by 40 CFR 264 and 265 pursuant to the Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act.
Emergency response operations at any workplace
when there has been a release or a substantial
threat of a release of hazardous substances.
Any employer, including a home heating oil
company, would be covered under the fifth
point as defined in the scope of the standard
if they handle hazardous substances. The
requirements for employers involved in emergency
responses to the release of hazardous substances
are delineated in paragraph (q) of the standard.
Under the emergency response program
OSHA allows a conditional exemption from
the emergency response requirements:
29 CFR 1910.120 (q)(1): "Employers who
will evacuate their employees from the work
site location when an emergency occurs, and
who do not permit any of their employees
to assist in handling the emergency are exempt
from the requirements of this paragraph if
they provide an emergency action plan complying
with 29 CFR 1910.38(a) of this part."
Employers who are conditionally exempt and
intend to evacuate employees from the danger
area are not required to train employees
to comply with the balance of 1910.120(q).
Employers who intend to evacuate their
employees would be expected, although not
required by the standard, to call in outside
assistance in the event of an emergency.
However, it appears that the home heating
oil distributor described in your letter
does intend to direct their employees to
respond to an emergency involving the release
of hazardous substance. Therefore, the employer
would be required to meet the requirements
in 1910.120 paragraph (q).
Again from your letter it appears that
many of the requirements in paragraph (q)
may have already been met through the development
of the "Spill Prevention Control and
Counter Measure Plan" and "instruction
held on oil spill prevention, containment
and retrieval methods and the "dry run"
drill for an on site vehicular spill incident."
OSHA refers you to paragraph (q) of
the enclosed 1910.120 standard. A review
and comparison of the paragraph's requirements
and your aforementioned activities may be
useful to identify any deficiencies in your
effort to comply with 1910.120 paragraph
We hope this information is helpful.
If you have any further questions please
feel free to contact MaryAnn Garrahan at
Gerard F. Scannell