(Note: This OSHA letter is a milestone letter-reflecting acceptance of an on line system. No other HAZWOPER training provider has received acceptance for any HAZWOPER training component. The online training industry considers our letter monumental. Our company has led the way in developing not only effective health and safety solutions but also regulatory compliant programs).
In an interpretation letter dated February 4, 2009 OSHA stated that our exclusive HAZWOPER Hands-on Simulator® is acceptable when used in conjunction with site specific training. Site specific hands-on training on the actual equipment an employee will be using is required for both online training and public seminar (open enrollment) classroom training. (If you thought you met the OSHA requirements by sending your employees offsite to a public seminar HAZWOPER training class, please read the detailed explanation below). Employers can now train their employees online with our simulator for the 40 or 24 hour HAZWOPER training and then conduct site specific hands-on training on the actual equipment an employee will be using in their job.
Download this page with February 4, 2009 OSHA Interpretation Letter
Download February 4, 2009 OSHA Interpretation Letter
Since July 11, 2008 we’ve had communication (several phone calls and interpretation letter) with the U.S. OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP) in Washington, D.C., regarding HAZWOPER training. The discussion centered on hands-on training for the 40 hour HAZWOPER training. They are specific in their expectation of what is to be used in the training and how it is conducted. OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.120 Appendix E (Non-Mandatory Guidelines) states that hands-on training should be used in conjunction with the 40 hour course. Although the Appendix E hands-on training requirement was not promulgated in the mandatory regulations, they have a specific expectation of what is acceptable. Also, a number of interpretation letters were issued over the years. Many people found some language to be in a “grey area”.
The expectation being conveyed to the field enforcement offices is that individuals receiving HAZWOPER training must be trained on the actual model and type of PPE they will be using in their job. It was also conveyed to us that classroom/seminar HAZWOPER training on a respirator in general does not meet their expectation. In a class with students from a dozen different employers, what is the chance the instructor will have the actual and exact PPE your worker uses on the job? The individual must be trained using the actual equipment and PPE that they will be utilizing in the field. Therefore, this expectation is not met in the classroom nor use of a simulator but can only be fulfilled by the employer conducting site-specific hands-on training on the actual equipment the employee will be using.
The actual HAZWOPER training certification comes from both the instructor and the employer – it has always been a joint responsibility. Since the employer is responsible for their employee’s health and safety, and the employer knows the specific tasks that the employee will be performing and has direct knowledge of the site conditions, it makes sense that OSHA expects the employer to conduct the hands-on/PPE component of the training.