Relationship of §1910.120 with other OSHA standards
Expanded health standards
- For example, Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) may cite the provisions of one of two standards, the Ethylene Oxide (EtO) standard or HAZWOPER, depending on which provision offers more protection. The EtO standard provides instruction on exposure monitoring that is more protective than HAZWOPER; however, HAZWOPER offers more protection to employees responding to emergencies involving releases of EtO through its incident command system and HAZMAT training requirements.
- When a hospital uses EtO to sterilize instruments and there is a potential for a release that would cause an emergency, the hospital must establish an emergency action plan in accordance with §1910.38(a) if it evacuates all employees in the danger area and calls in outside assistance, or an emergency response plan in accordance with §1910.120(q)(1) if it expects its own employees to respond to releases.
- Other hazardous substances used by the hospital must also be addressed in their emergency response plan and/or emergency action plan, if there is a potential for a release that would cause an emergency.
Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) §1910.1200
- The HCS is designed to ensure that employees are informed of the hazards associated with hazardous chemicals in the workplace, so that they may make informed judgments to protect themselves from exposure. The HCS does not require the employer to develop emergency procedures although HCS does require training in emergency procedures if the employer has already developed them. For example, when another standard (such as the Formaldehyde standard) requires an employer to develop emergency procedures, the employer would be required to incorporate those procedures into the HCS training program.
- Employers who fall under the scope of HAZWOPER must have either a written emergency response plan and/or an emergency action plan in accordance with §1910.38(a). If employers expect their own employees to respond to a potential emergency involving hazardous substances, then the employer must create an emergency response plan and the employees must be trained to perform the duties expected of them. HAZWOPER does not cover responses to incidental spills that do not have the potential for becoming an emergency. In such cases, OSHA enforces other applicable standards such as HCS, §§1910.119, 1910.132, 1910.134, and other OSHA standards.
- If employees are required to respond to spills that have the potential for becoming an emergency, then all of the provisions of §1910.120(q) are applicable. Therefore, in workplaces where there is a potential for emergencies, the employer’s HCS training program would have to address the HAZWOPER emergency response plan and/or emergency action plan. (Note that the HCS training can be adapted easily to encompass all of the required training competencies in §1910.120(q)(6)(i), the first responder awareness level, and that a single training session could satisfy the requirements of both standards.)
Employee emergency plans and fire prevention plans §1910.38(a)
- When used to meet the requirements of HAZWOPER, §1910.38(a) requires employers to have an effective alarm system to alert employees of an emergency, evacuate all employees, and notify an emergency response team, such as a fire department that is trained in accordance with HAZWOPER.
- Employers who will train some of their employees to respond to an emergency release must create an emergency response plan. An emergency action plan is to be part of the emergency response plan for the evacuation of all employees in the area that are not essential for the response to the emergency.
- CSHOs shall follow the guidance below when citing an employer who has opted to create an emergency action plan in lieu of an emergency response plan:
- (a) The CSHO shall cite §1910.38(a) if an employer with more than 10 employees merely expresses the intent to evacuate all employees from the danger area, and would not allow employees to assist in handling the emergency, but does not have a written emergency action plan. This intent must have been communicated to employees, which the CSHO may verify by employee interviews.
- (b) The CSHO shall cite §1910.38(a) and §1910.165, the Employee Alarm Systems standard (referenced in §1910.38(a)), if there are deficiencies found in a written emergency action plan or alarm system.
- (c) The CSHO shall cite §1910.120(q)(1) if the employer does not have a written emergency action plan, and has not expressed any intention to employees (i.e., the employer has done absolutely nothing in planning for emergencies).
- (d) The CSHO shall cite §1910.38(a)(2)(v) if the employer has not established reasonable procedures in the plan for notifying both inside and outside parties of incidents so that employees are not at risk.
Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories §1910.1450
Process safety management for highly hazardous chemicals §1910.119
- Due to the nature of the facilities covered by the scope of the PSM standard, facilities covered by §1910.119 would have the potential for an emergency release.
- Facilities that fall under the scope of PSM shall establish and implement an emergency action plan in accordance with §1910.38(a). Paragraph (n) of the PSM standard states that employers covered by PSM “may also be subject” to the hazardous waste and emergency response provisions of §1910.120. If the employer plans to direct its employees to respond to emergency releases, the employer would be subject to §1910.120(q). (For further guidance see Appendix C of §1910.119 and OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.45A, “Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals — Compliance Guidelines and Enforcement Procedures.”)
- The requirements of the PSM standard are geared toward preventing catastrophic releases, but they do not address the specific procedures for responding to such releases. HAZWOPER’s emergency response provisions apply to the actual emergency response effort at facilities covered by the PSM standard.
Occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens §1910.1030
- The following are three scenarios where the Bloodborne Pathogens standard may interface with HAZWOPER:
- clean-up of a hazardous waste site containing infectious waste (overlap with §1910.120(b)-(o) for clean-up operations);
- Operation of a RCRA-permitted incinerator that burns infectious waste (overlap with §1910.120(p) for treatment storage and disposal (TSD) facilities); and
- Response to an emergency caused by the uncontrolled release of an infectious waste, or where in fectious waste is part of the release (overlap with §1910.120(q) for emergency responses not otherwise covered by the standard).
- In the past, a medical waste incinerator was defined as a treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facility by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, recently Federal EPA allowed this definition to lapse and left the responsibility of specifying the status of a medical waste incinerator as a TSD facility to the State. Therefore, in States where medical waste incinerators are considered TSD facilities, §1910.120(p) applies.
- Section 1910.120(q) may apply to any other medical waste incinerator. In addition to complying with the Bloodborne Pathogens standard, these employers would be expected to comply with §1910.120 (q), which would require an emergency response plan and/or an emergency action plan. Employers may create one plan that would incorporate all of the applicable components of both standards.
Permit-required confined spaces §1910.146
- Hazardous materials emergency response may involve permit-required confined spaces. Emergency response personnel and outside response parties may be required to enter permit spaces for rescue operations.
- While HAZWOPER addresses response procedures to emergency releases, it does not address response to incidents involving PRCSs with the detail provided in §1910.146. The requirements of the PRCS standard are targeted specifically toward work and emergency rescue as they relate to permit spaces. Employers who decide that their employees will enter PRCSs shall establish a PRCS program in accordance with §1910.146(d).
- The PRCS standard details specific requirements applicable to employers who have employees enter permit spaces to perform rescue services. These requirements include employee training, coordination with outside rescue services, and rescue retrieval systems, methods, and annual rehearsals.
Fire brigades §1910.156
- The Fire brigade standard uses broader language than HAZWOPER in §1910.156(c): “The employer shall provide training and education for all fire brigade members commensurate with those duties and functions that members are expected to perform.”
- The Fire brigade standard addresses the need for industrial fire fighters to be aware of the MSDS, and requires written procedures and training for flammable toxic and radioactive materials; however, the emphasis is on structural fires. Employees within a fire brigade who are expected to respond to incidents involving hazardous substances must also receive HAZWOPER training.