November 8, 1994
Robin Morecroft, P.E.
Engineering Mission Operation and Maintenance,
Suite 300 1
2500 Fair Lakes Circle
Fairfax, Virginia 22033
Dear Mr. Morecroft:
Thank you for your letter of May 10, concerning
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's
(OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency
Response (HAZWOPER) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.120.
You request clarification on HAZWOPER
emergency response training requirements.
It appears from your letter that your workers
will only be trained to the First Responder
Operations Level. The function of the First
Responder Operations Level is to take defensive
action to contain an uncontrolled release,
acting at a safe distance from the point
of release. Defensive activities include
placing of sorbent, shutting off valves outside
the danger area, or activating emergency
control systems. The standard does not allow
Operations Level First Responders to actually
enter the danger area to attempt to stop
a release. Therefore, if you choose not to
train your people beyond the First Responder
Operations Level, you must arrange in advance
to call in an outside HAZMAT team in the
event your employees are unable to control
a release through the use of defensive action.
We will now address your specific questions.
1) Our operating personnel are trained
the level of First Responder Operations.
Is it a requirement that one individual
each shift be trained as an "Incident
Commander" or would it suffice
management, called out to the plant,
trained as the incident commander?
The second part of this question is
If there is an "Incident Commander"
on the scene, either from the shift
plant supervisor called in, and the
Manager or some other senior manager
on site, must he be "Incident
trained or can he defer to the individual
who is trained and handling the situation?
There must be someone on-site designated and trained to be in charge of
the incident, HAZWOPER describes this
as the Senior Official. It is not acceptable to designate and train the plant
manager or supervise as the Senior
if this person needs to be called in
Your facility emergency response plan
detail the procedures to be followed,
and duties of responders, and lines
and communication. All activity must
through the Incident Command System,
specifies that one individual be in
of coordinating and supervising emergency
response efforts. The Incident Command
is to include a preestablished chain
in which control of the incident is
up the chain of command as more senior
arrive. For example, in the event it
to call in the outside HAZMAT team,
Senior Official would turn over control
the incident to the head of the outside
You must specify in advance whether
for the on-site Senior Official to
control of the incident to the plant
or manager who arrives from off-site.
would not require that your senior
who arrive from off-site take over
of the incident. However, whoever serves
the role of Senior Official must have
full authority to coordinate and supervise emergency response
activities. Off-site senior managers
not need to be trained to head up the
response if they truly defer to the
It may be of interest to you that,
your Senior Official is coordinating
supervising first response only, the
training of the On-Scene Incident Commander
may not be needed. The Senior Official
on-site and, if you so decide, your
plant managers) must be trained based
the duties and function to be performed
type and extent of training would depend
on the facility and the complexity
emergency prevention measures. In situations
where it is necessary to call in the
HAZMAT team, the role of Senior Official
would be passed up the preestablished
of authority to the head of the outside
team. The head of the HAZMAT team must
certified as an On-Scene Incident Commander
as described in 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(6)(v).
2) The regulations state that the Hazardous
Materials Specialist: ... would also
as a liaison with Federal, state, local
other government authorities in regards
site activities... Does this mean we
have a Hazardous Materials Specialist
each shift to Provide this liaison
our First Responder Operations-trained
or our "Incident Commander"
You are not required to have a Hazardous
Materials Specialist on your response
However, the role of liaison with government
authorities should be designated in
emergency response plan. You should
in advance with local emergency planning
authorities to determine what information
needs to be reported to them in the
of an incident. It would be the responsibility
of the Senior Official (described in
to your first question) to determine
outside assistance is needed. Your
response plan must define what scenarios
your plant can and can not handle without
the aid of an outside hazmat team,
workers, particularly the Senior Official,
must be trained to understand the limits
of their response capabilities.
3) After the completion of the emergency
response phase of an incident, a contractor
would normally be hired to provide
and disposal services. Is it necessary
our plant management to be trained
Management and Supervisors" if
involvement is telling the contractor
"clean up the problem?"
These management personnel would be
for arranging the contract, monitoring
expenditures and monitoring procedures
by the contractor to insure general
with OSHA and other regulations. They
go to the site of the incident simply
an observer. They would have previously
First Responder Operations level training.
The On-Site Management and Supervisory
to which you refer is intended for
management personnel who are directly
for clean-up operations. Contract management
personnel who simply instruct the contractor
to "clean up the problem"
not require this level of training.
However, access to contaminated areas
clean-up operations is generally limited
to personnel who are certified under
(e) of the standard. First Responder
Level Training would not be applicable
clean-up by outside contractors is
separately from emergency response
Clean-up operations are regulated under
(b) through (o) of HAZWOPER. Clean-up
must have 24 or 40 hours of training
in paragraph (e)(3). This training
is a prerequisite
to the training specified in (e)(4)
management and supervisors.
Regarding your concerns about monitoring
compliance with OSHA regulations, the
requires that there be a "Site
and Health Supervisor" for all
operations, who has the authority and
necessary to implement the site safety
health plan and verify compliance with
safety and health requirements.
You should ensure that any clean-up
contractor you hire has a qualified Safety
and Health Supervisor and will be able to
comply with the other safety and health requirements
for clean-up operations, and may wish to
specify this in your contractual agreement.
We hope this information is helpful.
If you have any further questions please
feel free to contact the Office of Health
Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.
Patricia Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs