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Q.
What are my options for continuing to use anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks for which the ASME data plate has been lost or become illegible?

A.
DOT requires each pressurized vessel transporting a hazardous material in commerce on a public highway to be equipped with a legible ASME data plate. According to DOT, a person may choose to obtain a new replacement ASME data plate from the original manufacturer; provide for the appropriate visual, thickness and pressure tests/inspections specified under 49 CFR Parts 180.407 and 180.409; or remove the tank from service.

Source: DOT Hazardous Materials Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and 49 CFR Part 180.407.8 (Inspections ) and 407.9 (Qualifications). (10-01-2005)
Q.
Since it is not possible to have a MSDS for each potential blend of fertilizer containing a common mixture of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) products, what alternative can be used to satisfy OSHA when fulfilling a request by a customer for a MSDS?

A.
For blends that are comprised of a mixture of non-interacting chemicals, OSHA allows the MSDS for each product to be attached to a cover sheet (such as a scale or blend ticket) that identifies the mixture product and lists the constituents. OSHA deems this approach acceptable provided the hazards associated with the mixture are not different from that of its components.

Source: USS Agri-Chemical Letters of Interpretation by Robert Wiesboeck dated June 22, 1984 and August 1, 1984. (10-15-2005)
Q.
Can a person that holds an 'ag-restricted' commercial drivers license transport anhydrous ammonia in nurse wagons?

A.
Yes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) included specific wording in the Federal Register for persons utilizing the "Waiver for Farm-Related Service Industries" commonly referred to as a "temporary" or "ag-restricted" CDL. FHWA permits restricted CDL holders to "transport anhydrous ammonia and other types of liquid fertilizers in vehicles or implements of husbandry with total capacities of 3,000 gallons or less."

Source: Federal Register Volume 57, Number 75, Page 13653, Dated April 17, 1992, published on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). (11-01-2005)
Q.
Is fall protection required for employees working on vehicles or trailers?

A.
No. OSHA does require fall protection for each employee on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet or more above a lower level; however, the rule defines "walking/working surface" as any surface on which an employee walks or works, including, but not limited to, floors, roofs, ramps, bridges, runways, formwork and concrete reinforcing steel but not including ladders, vehicles, or trailers, on which employees must be located in order to perform their job duties.

Source: Batz Letter of Interpretation dated March 10, 2004, National Tank Truck Carrier's Association and 29 CFR 1926.500. (12-01-2005)
Q.
What are my options for providing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for use by my employees?

A.
OSHA requires that employers maintain in the workplace copies of the required MSDS and ensure they are readily accessible to employees. OSHA allows for paper copies, electronic (computer) access, microfiche and other alternatives as long as no barriers to immediate employee access are created. For instance, if a computer or Fax system is used, all employees must know how to operate and obtain MSDS from the system.

Source: Bursiek and Schuchman Letters of Interpretation dated October 28, 1996 and March 24, 1995 respectively, and 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(8). (01-01-2006)
Q.
Does SARA Title III require that a retailer include fertilizer materials on their annual Tier II report?

A.
Title III excludes "any substance to the extent it is used in routine agricultural operations or is a fertilizer held for resale by a retailer to the ultimate customer."

Source: Section 311(e) of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, Public Law 99-499, Codified at 42 U.S.C. Section 11022. (02-01-2006)
Q.
Are Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for fertilizer materials required to be prepared and maintained for each different mixture of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K)?

A.
OSHA allows in 29 CFR 1910.1200 (g) for a MSDS to be developed for various combinations of N-P-K as long as the hazards of the various mixtures are the same. The MSDS does not have to list the amount by percentage of the ingredients of the mixture.

Source: Kimmel Letter of Interpretation dated May 7, 1993 and 29 CFR 1910.1200 (g). (03-01-2006)
Q.
Is a retail farm center that routinely blends fertilizer nutrients subject to the stormwater permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act?

A.
Facilities that are primarily engaged in the wholesale or retail distribution of fertilizer to end users, and are properly classified in SIC Code 5191 Farm Supplies (now NAICS 42491) are not subject to the Federal stormwater permitting requirements established in Section 402 of the Clean Water Act.

Source: Series of correspondence between EPA, The Fertilizer Institute and the National AgriChemical Retailers Association dated March 6, 1991 through October 3, 1991. (04-01-2006)
Q.
Is a retail farm center that routinely stores and sells anhydrous ammonia to farmers subject to OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals rule?

A.
OSHA's Process Safety Management rule found at 29 CFR 1910.119 does not apply to a retail facility provided more than half (>50%) of the income is from sales of anhydrous ammonia to the end user - farmers.

Source: Varnco Letter of Interpretation dated January 26, 2001 and 29 CFR 1910.119(a)(2)(i). (05-01-2006)
Q.
Does the Grain Handling Standard, 29 CFR 1910.272 supersede the requirements of OSHA's Permit-Required Confined Space Standard, 29 CFR 1910.146 with regard to entry into grain bins, silos, tanks, and other grain structures?

A.
29 CFR 1910.272(g) takes precedence over the permit-required confined space standard for the hazards it addresses.

Source: Demaray Letter of Interpretation dated February 8, 2005 and 29 CFR 1910.272 and 1910.146. (06-01-2006)
Q.
Our facility has a street running through the property. For the purposes of compliance with the Risk Management Program (RMP), is our facility considered a contiguous property?

A.
EPA defines contiguous property as property that is adjoining. Public rights-of-way (i.e. railroads, highways) do not prevent property from being considered contiguous.

Source: U.S. EPA Clean Air Act 112(r) Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, February 2006, Section X, Question 10. (07-10-2006)
Q.
We have an older model forklift in use at our farm center. Are all forklifts required to be equipped with a back-up alarm, strobe light or other sound device?

A.
OSHA acknowledges that back-up alarms are not specifically required or even addressed in their Powered Industrial Truck Standard; however, there are regulations that prohibit the removal or disconnection of safety devices. Thus, if the forklift is equipped with a back-up alarm, the alarm cannot be removed or made inoperative.

Source: Parrish Letter of Interpretation dated June 10, 1993, and 29 CFR 1910.178. (08-10-2006)
Q.
If employees enter grain bins under the Grain Handling Standard requirements, can the employer be cited for violations under the Permit-Required Confined Space Standard?

A.
Confined space work that is regulated under the Grain Handling Standard is not subject to the provisions of the Permit-Required Confined Space Standard as long as the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.272 protect against all of the hazards within the grain bins.

Source: Demaray Letter of Interpretation dated February 8, 2005, 29 CFR 1910.272 and 1910.146. (09-01-2006)
Q.
Does the history of a nurse tank affect its eligibility for coverage under the DOT-SP 13554 special permit?

A.
No. The requirements of the special permit must be observed once the nurse tank has been inspected and tested in accordance with the provisions of DOT-SP 13554.

Source: U.S. DOT, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, November 18, 2005. (10-10-2006)
Q.
EPA regulations require immediate reporting of hazardous material spills over reportable quantities to the National Response Center. How does EPA define 'immediate?'

A.
The term "immediate" is not defined by law, but legislative history authorizes EPA to enforce for failure to report within 15 minutes.

Source: EPA Response to The Fertilizer Institute dated September 7, 1994 and Legislative History of SARA 1986. (11-01-2006)
Q.
Does SARA Title III require a retailer include gasoline or diesel fuel on their annual Tier II report?

A.
Title III establishes a reporting threshold of 10,000 pounds unless gasoline or diesel fuel is stored entirely underground in tanks which hold less than 75,000 gallons of gasoline or 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel and are in full compliance with the underground storage tank (UST) rules.

Source: Section 370.20 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act as amended February 1, 1999. (12-01-2006)
Q.
Does use of a face shield satisfy the Worker Protection Standard requirements for eye protection when handling liquid pesticides or are goggles or safety glasses also needed?

A.
EPA defines protective eyewear as goggles, face shield or safety glasses with front, brow and temple protection. A full-face respirator may also be used as protective eyewear.

Source: How To Comply With the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Employers Need To Know, EPA 735-B-05-002, September 2005, Page 64. (01-01-2007)
Q.
May an employer forgo developing entry procedures for a permit-required confined space, if it forbids employee entry to that space?

A.
Employers are not required to develop entry procedures for any particular permit space if the employer decides that its employees will not enter it. However, employers must take effective measures to prevent its employees from entering such permit spaces.

Source: Rubel Letter of Interpretation dated September 21, 2006. (02-10-2007)
Q.
What primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code applies to an agricultural retailer that may sell farm supplies such as feeds, fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, and seed?

A.
Formerly identified as SIC Code 5191, the corresponding new NAICS code assigned in 2002 is 424910 for businesses primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of farm supplies, such as animal feeds, fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, pesticides, plant seeds, and plant bulbs.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, (Link) May 6, 2003 (03-10-2007)
Q.
OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard requires each employee to be informed of the dangers posed by chemicals found in the workplace. Must employers provide information and training on each specific chemical?

A.
The Hazard Communication Standard, found at 29 CFR 1910.1200, allows employers to provide information and training to employees using categories of hazards for the relevant chemicals.

Sources: Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission Interpretation dated September 2, 1999. OSHRC Docket No: 98-0485. 29 CFR 1910.1200(h). (04-10-2007)
Q.
Is a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, as designated under the Clean Water Act (CWA), required for pesticides applied directly to or near water?

A.
U.S. EPA issued an Interpretative Statement, followed by a final rule, reaffirming that NPDES permits are not needed for pesticides when used for pest control in, over, on or near waters of the U.S. and in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) label. The rule stopped short of dropping NPDES permit requirements for all EPA approved pesticides.

Sources: USEPA Interpretative Statement dated February 1, 2005, Federal Register Volume 71, Number 227, Page 68483, Dated November 27, 2006, and CropLife America. (05-10-2007)
Q.
Is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training required by law?

A.
OSHA "recommends," but does not require, CPR training under 29 CFR 1910.151, the Medical Services and First Aid standard. However, some OSHA standards, such as the Permit-Required Confined Space rule, and some states, have specific requirements that employees be trained in first aid and CPR.

Sources: Nakama Letter of Interpretation dated November 1, 2005 and 29 CFR 1910.151 and 1910.146. (06-01-2007)
Q.
Is there an age requirement for operators of forklifts or other powered industrial trucks?

A.
While OSHA established standards for employers to ensure that each powered industrial truck operator successfully demonstrates competency, it is the Fair Labor Standards Act that specifically prohibits individuals younger than 18 years of age from operating forklifts or other powered industrial trucks.

Sources: 29 CFR 1910.178 and 29 CFR 570.58 Order 7(a)(5), Safety & Health Information Bulletin 03-09-30. (07-01-2007)
Q.
Is aqua ammonia considered an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) for SARA Tier II reporting requirements?

A.
The CAS number for ammonium hydroxide (aqua ammonia) is 1336-21-6 and does not appear on the EHS list. Ammonia completely dissolved in aqueous solution to form ammonium hydroxide is not an EHS for the purpose of Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA) Sections 311 and 312 reporting.

Sources: 40 CFR Parts 355 & 370, EPCRA Section 302 Extremely Hazardous Substances, List of Lists dated October 2006. (08-01-2007)
Q.
Are shipments of blended fertilizer that include ammonium nitrate (AN) mixed with phosphate or potash considered to be a DOT hazardous material?

A.
When transported by land, shipments of uniform non-segregated mixtures of nitrogen, phosphate or potash fertilizers as described under UN2071 are not regulated by DOT when the mixture contains no more than 70% AN and no more than 0.4% combustible material or no more than 45% AN with an unrestricted combustible material. Hence, shipments of this material do not require shipping papers or placarding.

Sources: 49 CFR 172.101, 102 & 203 and The Fertilizer Institute report Domestic Transportation of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizers dated October 1, 1993. (09-01-2007)
Q.
A retail facility which obtains more than 50% of their income from direct sales to end users is exempt from the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. Is the income based on all sales at the facility or just the chemical covered by the PSM standard?

A.
OSHA considers a facility to be qualified under the PSM exemption for retail facilities, if that facility receives more than half of it’s income from the direct sales of the PSM-covered chemical to end users.

Sources: Schwall Letter of Interpretation dated December 12, 2005 and 29 CFR 1910.119 (10-10-2007)
Q.
Are all establishments that receive bulk pesticide from a registrant required to register with EPA as a pesticide producing establishment?

A.
Only those establishments that will repackage and distribute the bulk product must register their establishment with EPA. An establishment that receives bulk pesticides only to use in their custom application business would not need to register since they are the end user of the product. Establishments that both repackage and custom applies products must be registered.

Sources: Asmark Institute Letter of Interpretation dated June 12, 2007 and the Enforcement Policy Applicable to Bulk Shipments of Pesticides dated July 11, 1977. (11-10-2007)
Q.
Are shipments of anhydrous ammonia transported in nurse tanks from the retailer to a farmer's field required by DOT to be accompanied by shipping papers?

A.
DOT does not require shipping papers accompany a shipment of anhydrous ammonia in nurse tanks with a capacity of 3,000 gallons or less and that meet the criteria outlined in 49 CFR 173.315(m).

Source: 49 CFR 173.315(m) Compressed gases in cargo tanks and portable tanks. (12-10-2007)
Q.
When are small businesses, such as agricultural retailers, required to provide emergency eyewash/safety showers?

A.
OSHA requires all employers that have employees whose eyes or body may be exposed to corrosive materials provide for quick drenching and flushing facilities within the work area for immediate emergency use. OSHA has further clarified that there is no threshold quantity of corrosive material to trigger the requirements.

Sources: Bolte Letter of Interpretation dated February 27, 2007 and 29 CFR 1910.151(c) Medical Services and First Aid Standard. (01-10-2008)
Q.
If a dealer purchases a bulk pesticide and uses all of the pesticide through direct field applications, must the dealer register with EPA as a pesticide producing establishment?

A.
A dealer does not have to register as a pesticide producing establishment if he uses all of the bulk pesticides he purchases by applying them as part of a custom application service.

Source: Asmark Institute Letter of Interpretation dated June 12, 2007 and the Enforcement Policy Applicable to Bulk Shipments of Pesticides dated July 11, 1977. (02-10-2008)
Q.
Is calcium ammonium nitrate considered a Chemical of Interest regulated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)?

A.
DHS did not include calcium ammonium nitrate on the final Appendix A list of regulated chemicals, and has provided guidance supporting their intention not to capture this chemical under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard.


Source: Chemical Security Compliance Division meeting minutes dated December 20, 2007 and acquired by The Fertilizer Institute under the Freedom of Information Act, and correspondence provided by the Agricultural Retailers Association dated November 16, 2007. (03-10-2008)
Q.
Who is responsible for training an employee hired through a temporary agency?

A.
OSHA considers temporary employment agencies who send employees to work at other facilities (client) to be employers whose employees may be exposed to hazards. Since it is the client who creates and controls the hazards, the client has the primary responsibility of such protection. OSHA also considers there to be a shared responsibility for assuring employees are adequately protected from the workplace hazards.

Source: Moreau Letter of Interpretation dated February 3, 1994. (04-10-2008)
Q.
When repackaging the remaining unsold inventory of pesticide, must the establishment report the transfer as repackaged on the annual report for the year in which the transfer occurred, or the future year(s) when actually sold/distributed?

A.
EPA requires the establishment report the repackaging as production for the year in which the repackaging occurred and the sale or distribution in the year the distribution occurred, even if they are different years.

Sources: Asmark Institute Letter of Interpretation dated June 12, 2007 and the Enforcement Policy Applicable to Bulk Shipments of Pesticides dated July 11, 1977. (05-10-2008)
Q.
Are farming operations subject to the Occupational Safety & Health Act?

A.
The requirements issued by OSHA do apply to farming operations, but because of OSHA's current appropriations law, the agency is not allowed to spend any of the funds appropriated on enforcement of a farming operation which employs 10 or fewer employees and does not maintain a temporary labor camp.

Source: Frenzel Letter of Interpretation dated July 16, 2007. (06-10-2008)
Q.
Does OSHA ban the use of headsets in the workplace for safety or health reasons?

A.
Federal OSHA regulations do not address the use of headsets such as iPods, Zunes, MP3 players or other types of devices in the workplace, however the agency views their use as creating a potential hazard. OSHA places the responsibility for employee safety and health on the employer.

Source: Fischer Letter of Interpretation dated August 15, 1985. (07-10-2008)
Q.
When an OSHA standard requires employees to be re-trained 'at least annually,' when should the training be conducted?

A.
Federal OSHA interprets "at least annually" to mean that employees must be provided re-training at least once every 12 months (i.e. within a time period not exceeding 365 days). The training may be conducted more frequently.

Source: Skinner Letter of Interpretation dated January 24, 2007. (08-10-2008)
Q.
Are farmers who receive bulk pesticide directly from a registrant, repackage the pesticide, and distribute it to another person required to register with EPA as a pesticide-producing establishment and have an establishment number?

A.
Yes. Additionally, they must also have a signed bulk repackaging agreement with the registrant and meet all other conditions in EPA's Bulk Policy.

Sources: Asmark Institute Letter of Interpretation dated June 12, 2007 and the Enforcement Policy Applicable to Bulk Shipments of Pesticides dated July 11, 1977. (09-01-2008)
Q.
When elevated in a forklift cage or other safety platform equipped with a standard guardrail, mid-rail and toe plate, are workers required to wear fall protection equipment such as a full body harness and lanyard?

A.
No, personal fall protection equipment would not be required when a guardrail system is installed along the open sides of the safety platform.

Sources: McGuinness Letter of Interpretation dated March 8, 2002. (10-01-2008)
Q.
How close must an eyewash station be located to a battery changing/charging station?

A.
OSHA considers the guidelines set by ANSI (Z358.1-1998), Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment, which states that eyewash facilities are to be located to require no more than 10 seconds to reach but that where a strong acid or caustic is used, the unit should be immediately adjacent to the hazard.

Sources: McGuinness Letter of Interpretation dated March 8, 2002, 29 CFR 1910.178 and 151 (applies), and ANSI Z358.1-1998, Section 7.4.4. (11-01-2008)
Q.
What action must a retailer that is registered with EPA as a pesticide producing establishment take if the facility moves or changes address?

A.
A facility registered with EPA as a pesticide producing establishment may move or change address as long as they remain anywhere within the same state. The facility must forward a letter notifying EPA of the change of address within 30 days of the change.

Source: Correspondence with U.S. EPA dated November 10, 2008. (12-01-2008)
Q.
What are my options for continuing to use anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks for which the ASME data plate has been lost or become illegible?

A.
The Department of Transportation requires each pressurized vessel transporting a hazardous material in commerce on a public highway to be equipped with a legible ASME data plate. According to DOT, a person may choose any of the following four options; obtain a new replacement ASME data plate from the original manufacturer; utilize an existing DOT federally-recognized exemption such as The Fertilizer Institute’s “DOT-SP 13554”; apply for your own federal exemption; or remove the tank from service.

Source: DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and the Hazardous Materials Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (01-10-2009)
Q.
Are wheel chocks required on trucks and/or trailers when docked and boarded by powered industrial trucks?

A.
OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.178 requires the brakes shall be set and wheel chocks placed under the rear wheels to prevent the unit from rolling while being boarded by a powered industrial truck. OSHA's requirement prevails unless preempted by DOT's 49 CFR 393.41 Braking Regulations, which states the parking brake shall be capable of holding the vehicle or combination of vehicles stationary under any condition of loading which is found on a public road.

Source: Turner Letter of Interpretation dated November 8, 2005, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178(k)(1) and DOT (FMCSA) 49 CFR 393.41 and 43. (02-10-2009)
Q.
What are my options for providing access to written programs required by OSHA to my employees?

A.
Where the OSHA standard requires that a written program must be made available to employees, the employer must ensure that employees know how to access the document. OSHA allows for paper copies, electronic (computer) access and other alternatives as long as no barriers to immediate employee access are created. For instance, if a computer system is used, all employees must know how to operate and access the written program from the system.

Source: Ingram Letter of Interpretation dated September 16, 2008. (03-10-2009)
Q.
What does the agricultural exemption to the DOT hours of service rules cover?

A.
The exemption provides that the hours of service regulations "shall not apply to drivers transporting agricultural commodities for farm supplies for agricultural purposes..." The exemption is available "during the planting and harvesting seasons" as determined by each State. The law applies to two types of transportation. 1) The transport from the source of the agricultural commodity where the product is grown or raised - to a location within a 150 air-mile radius of the source. 2) The transport from a wholesale or retail distribution point of the farm supply to a location (farm where the product would be used) within a 150 air-mile radius.

Source: U.S. DOT FMCSA memorandum dated April 4, 2006 and Public Law 109-59 (SAFETEA-LU) Section 4130. Revised March 14, 2013. (04-10-2009)
Q.
Who is responsible for the Risk Management Program (RMP) for a facility that temporarily receives anhydrous ammonia for the purpose of being converted into liquid fertilizer by a contracted mobile T-reactor service?

A.
The owner and/or operator of the facility must ensure compliance with the RMP rule based upon the open and effective exchange of information between the facility and the contractor, however, EPA views all parties involved in operating the regulated process as being responsible.

Source: Asmark Institute Letter of Interpretation dated January 21, 2009. (05-10-2009)
Q.
What constitutes 'interstate' commerce according to DOT?

A.
DOT has determined that a motor carrier performs an interstate movement if the product they are transporting will continue in interstate commerce. For example, a farmer's movement of grain from farm to elevator, where it is known (or assumed to be known) that the grain will continue in interstate commerce, constitutes the first leg of an interstate movement. Likewise, a motor carrier that never leaves their home state can also be considered to be in interstate commerce if they receive product off rail or by freight truck from outside their state.

Source: FMCSR 390.5 and Illinois Department of Transportation publication dated May 2008. (06-01-2009)
Q.
Do the Hazardous Materials training requirements apply to drivers trained in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?

A.
Yes. A carrier may not transport a hazardous material unless each hazmat employee, including a driver, is trained as prescribed in Part 172 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations and the applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR Parts 390 -397). The training must initially be completed within 90 days after employment or a change in job function. Recurrent training is required at least once every three years.

Source: Portsmouth Letter of Interpretation dated January 14, 2009, 49 CFR Subpart H of Part 172, and Parts 390-397. (07-10-2009)
Q.
We have an older model forklift manufactured before seatbelts became a requirement. Is this forklift required to be equipped with seat belts?

A.
Generally, OSHA may issue a citation for the lack of seatbelt use on powered industrial trucks when the agency can document an employer has been notified about, and offered, a retrofit program by the manufacturer, but has not completed the retrofit.

Source: McGuinness Letter of Interpretation dated March 8, 2002. (08-10-2009)
Q.
Must a facility that temporarily receives anhydrous ammonia for the purpose of being converted into liquid fertilizer by a contracted mobile T-reactor service prepare and submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP)?

A.
The owner and/or operator of the facility must ensure compliance with the RMP rule which includes preparing and submitting a RMP. Predictive Filing is an option available to facilities that hold regulated substances temporarily during the year or intermittently throughout the year.

Source: U.S. EPA General Guidance on Risk Management Programs for Chemical Accident Prevention. (09-10-2009)
Q.
What are the requirements for affixing non-flammable gas '1005' placards with white borders on nurse tanks painted white?

A.
DOT requires all placards to be 10.8 inches square for visibility. Placards must have a printed inner border 0.5 inches from each edge. An outer border is not required by DOT, however an outer border must be used if it is needed to make clear the full size of a placard and to provide contrasting color when affixed to a background color that is considered non-contrasting.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Interpretation, CFR 49, Part 172.516(c)(7) and HM-181. (10-01-2009)
Q.
FIFRA requires all establishments that produce or repackage pesticides be registered with EPA, and that all such establishments submit annual pesticide production reports to EPA. Where must these reports be submitted?

A.
The regulations require annual pesticide production reports to be submitted to the EPA Regional Office which serves the area where the establishment is located. For establishments that are not found at the same location as their company headquarters, the regulations require the annual pesticide production reports to be submitted to the EPA Regional Office that has jurisdiction over the State in which the company headquarters is located.

Source: U.S. EPA Interpretation published September 16, 2009, CFR 40, Part 167.85 & 90. (11-01-2009)
Q.
If in the course of their work a contractor generates a hazardous waste at our facility, who is responsible for the proper disposal, the facility owner or the contractor?

A.
The owner and/or operator of the facility must ensure compliance with the hazardous waste standards based upon the open and effective exchange of information between the facility and the contractor, however, EPA views both parties involved in generating the hazardous waste as having responsibility.

Source: U.S. EPA Interpretation and enforcement cases cited. (12-10-2009)
Q.
EPA regulations require immediate reporting of hazardous material spills over reportable quantities to the National Response Center. How does EPA define 'immediate?'

A.
The term "immediate" is not defined by law, but legislative history authorizes EPA to enforce for failure to report within 15 minutes.

Source: EPA Response to The Fertilizer Institute dated September 7, 1994 and Legislative History of SARA 1986. (01-10-2010)
Q.
What is the appropriate RMP "program level" for a retailer assigned to NAICS Code 424910, and that either sells anhydrous ammonia or uses it to produce 10-34-0, which in turn, is sold?

A.
EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) rules are keyed to "program levels" 1, 2 or 3. All facilities that do not meet the criteria for program 1 or 3, are considered program 2 facilities. Assuming the facility is ineligible for program 1, program 3 criteria must be reviewed. A process containing in excess of 10,000 pounds of ammonia is subject to the RMP program 3 requirements if the process is either: 1) in NAICS Code 32211, 32411, 32511, 325181, 325188, 325192, 325199, 325211, 325311, or 32532; or 2) subject to OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard. Since OSHA’s PSM Standard excludes "retail" facilities and the NAICS Code is 424910, the appropriate RMP program level would be program 2.

Source: The Fertilizer Institute letter dated March 5, 2004, 40CFR Part 68.10 and 29CFR 1910.119(a)(2)(i). See also Varnco Letter of Interpretation dated January 26, 2001 on PSM. (02-10-2010)
Q.
Is having personnel trained in adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) an OSHA requirement?

A.
OSHA recommends that CPR training be a general program element of a first aid program. However, some OSHA standards, for example, Permit-required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146) have specific requirements that employees be trained in first aid and CPR. If an employer is covered by one of these specific standards, CPR training would be required.

Source: Vantec World Transportation Letter of Interpretation dated November 1, 2005 and 29CFR 1910.151(b). (03-10-2010)
Q.
Can anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks that have been retired from service be converted and used for propane?

A.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) formalized within NFPA 58, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, a recommendation that except for containers used in cargo tank vehicle service, ASME containers of 3,000 gallons water capacity or less, and used to store anhydrous ammonia shall not be converted to LP-gas fuel service. NFPA recommendations are not considered to be a regulation unless adopted by a governing body, such as a city, state or federal municipality or agency.

Source: NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, 2008 Edition, Section 5.2.1.6 - 5.2.1.10, issued October 4, 2007. (04-01-2010)
Q.
Should a routine DOT drug test accompany the recertification when an existing driver renews their DOT physical?

A.
No. Drug testing and the physical qualification requirements for drivers are two completely separate areas of the regulations and combining for an existing driver would misrepresent the drug test as required under Part 382. It is important to note that the DOT medical examination is not exclusive to drivers who hold a CDL. Confusion has persisted since January 1, 1995 when the drug testing requirements were removed from Part 391 and moved to their own newly created section of the rule, Part 382.

Source: FMCSR Parts 382 and 391, and specifically: 381.107/383.5, 382.113, 390.5 and 391. (05-10-2010)
Q.
Should the medical evaluation questionnaire for a person who wears a respirator be maintained or destroyed by the physician after the completion of the medical evaluation?

A.
OSHA requires employers to retain and make available records of medical evaluations which includes medical determinations by the physician, and the questionnaires. All information from the questionnaire and/or medical exam is confidential, and arrangements must be made by the employer to ensure it is kept confidential. Usually, the employer will have the records maintained by the physician.

Source: Ruckel Letter of Interpretation dated June 2, 2009, 29 CFR Part 1910.134(m)(1) and 1910.1020. (06-10-2010)
Q.
May file copies of the medical evaluation questionnaire for a person who wears a respirator be kept in their employee file?

A.
No. The information from the questionnaire and/or medical exam is considered a medical record and must be kept confidential and separate from other employee records such as timesheets, training, etc.

Source: Ruckel Letter of Interpretation dated June 2, 2009, 29 CFR Part 1910.134 & 1910.1020. (07-10-2010)
Q.
If an employer discovers a health hazard that is not discussed on the manufacturer's MSDS, can that employer ignore the existence of the unreported health hazard and proceed based solely on the hazard information presented on the MSDS?

A.
If an employer has information about a potential health hazard for which no information is provided on the MSDS, it must provide employees with additional information and training regarding those new hazards. Employers must provide information to their employees related to how they can recognize exposures and take measures to protect themselves against workplace hazards. The manufacturer, not the employer using the chemical, is responsible for making corrections to a deficient or inadequate MSDS.

Source: Fox Letter of Interpretation dated December 22, 2008, 29 CFR 1910.1200(h). (08-10-2010)
Q.
Does the use of a 'quick disconnect' with a 'pull-down sleeve' satisfy the OSHA requirement that pneumatic power tools be secured to the hose or whip by some positive means to prevent the tool from becoming accidentally disconnected?

A.
A quick-disconnect with a 'pull-down sleeve' must be grasped and pulled down against the resistance of a spring in order to separate the tool from the hose. This type of device is a 'positive means' of preventing the tool and hose from becoming accidentally disconnected. Therefore, it meets the requirements in 1926.302(b)(1).

Source: Kurtz Letter of Interpretation dated November 14, 2003, 29 CFR 1926.302(b)(1). (09-10-2010)
Q.
May old or outdated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) be discarded?

A.
OSHA requires that employers shall have a MSDS in the workplace for each hazardous chemical while in use. While OSHA does not address the issue of retention of MSDSs after use is completed, it has been determined the decision whether to discard or not, should not be based on whether you can, but whether you would dare do so. It is certainly to an employer's legal benefit to be able to produce the original MSDS when issue's arise years later stemming from use of personal protective equipment and other protective procedures.

Source: Strasheim Letter of Interpretation dated November 22, 1985 and 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(1). (10-10-2010)
Q.
Has DOT recently required additional information for nurse tanks with missing or illegible ASME data plates?

A.
Contrary to earlier guidance, and while many of these provisions do not apply to nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plates, DOT is retroactively requiring the following information to be addressed on all inspection reports: Name of the tank manufacturer; DOT or MC Specification Number; Maximum allowable working pressure; Indication of whether the cargo tank is lined, insulated or both; Indication of dedicated service; and Location of any defects found and method of repair. Inspection reports for each tank are required to be kept on file and must now meet the requirements found in 49 CFR 180.417(b).

Source: The Fertilizer Institute Notice dated June 3, 2010 and 49 CFR 180.417(b) (11-10-2010)
Q.
Must SARA Tier II and similar reports containing Chemicals of Interest regulated by DHS be handled as Chemical Vulnerability Information (CVI)?

A.
CVI is a special security classification designated by DHS to cover ONLY the information collected in CSAT so that it is protected as sensitive but unclassified. The information in CSAT (Top Screen, Tiering Letter, SVA or SSP) becomes CVI when it is submitted to DHS. Anything that is the company's own business (i.e., chemical inventories, security plans, training record, etc.) is not considered CVI.

Source: CSAT HelpDesk Resolution dated November 1, 2010. Case Number: S20101029-64701 (12-10-2010)
Q.
What constitutes a legible data plate as required for nurse tanks of anhydrous ammonia by the Department of Transportation?

A.
49 CFR 173.315(m) requires cargo tanks (commonly known as a nurse tank and considered to be an implement of husbandry) transporting anhydrous ammonia, to be designed and marked according to ASME code. Mere presence of a ASME data plate is not sufficient. The data plate must be sufficiently legible to document the design and manufacture of the tank.

Source: PHMSA training and enforcement information and 49 CFR 173.315(m). (01-10-2011)
Q.
Does the Risk Management Program (RMP) require maps indicating the areas surrounding the facility affected by the worst-case or alternate-case release scenarios?

A.
The RMP rule sets the requirements for documents that must be kept on-site. The RMP rule does not specifically require that maps be kept on-site.

Source: 40 CFR 68 and Final Interpretation dated April 15, 2003, as published between the Agribusiness Association of Iowa's RMP Advisory Committee and U.S. EPA. (02-01-2011)
Q.
Forklift operators are required to undergo a performance evaluation at least once every three years. Would a written exam alone suffice?

A.
No. OSHA's Powered Industrial Truck Standard requires forklift operators to participate in a triennial performance evaluation that ensures they have retained the necessary knowledge and skills for safe operations of the vehicle. The person conducting the evaluation must observe the operator during normal operations and asks pertinent questions to ensure the operator has the necessary knowledge needed to operate the vehicle safely.

Source: 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(4)(iii) and Hearne Letter of Interpretation dated August 1, 2005. (03-10-2011)
Q.
What effect does the addition of Stabilized Nitrogen (N-Serve) have on the DOT requirements governing shipments of anhydrous ammonia?

A.
The addition of N-Serve to anhydrous ammonia at typical volumes of both products does not change the characteristics of ammonia, including the flash point and Reportable Quantity. Shipments of N-Serve with anhydrous ammonia should be marked, labeled and placarded the same as a shipment of ammonia alone. It should be noted that DOT holds the shipper responsible for compliance with the rules regarding shipments.

Source: Runkle Letter of Interpretation dated January 24, 2011. (04-01-2011)
Q.
Are farmers subject to the Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements?

A.
Anhydrous ammonia held by a farmer for their exclusive use as an agricultural nutrient is exempt from the requirements of the Risk Management Program, but remains subject to the statutory General Duty Clause under the Clean Air Act, Section 112(r)(l). Ammonia held for distribution at a farm would not be exempt.

Source: EPA CAA 112(r) Update Volume 1, Number 3 dated November/December 1997 and 40 CFR 68.125. (05-10-2011)
Q.
Does EPA's Risk Management Program apply to a facility that stores or handles ammonium hydroxide?

A.
For purposes of the Risk Management Program regulations, ammonium hydroxide (aqua ammonia) must be treated as a solution of ammonia and water, regardless of the fact that ammonium hydroxide may be indentified by a unique Chemical Abstract Service number. If the concentration of ammonia in the ammonium hydroxide is 20% or greater, then the mixture is subject to the Risk Management Program requirements.

Source: EPA CAA 112(r) Update Volume 1, Number 3 dated November/December 1997 and 40 CFR 68.115. (06-10-2011)
Q.
When are the inspections of powered industrial trucks such as forklifts required; at the beginning of the workday or every time an operator gets on one?

A.
OSHA requires that all powered industrial trucks be examined before being placed in service. This examination is required daily or after each shift if the trucks are used on a round-the-clock basis. OSHA does not require the examination be documented in writing but warns employers of their responsibility to determine powered industrial trucks are properly inspected.

Source: Noffsinger Letter of Interpretation dated July 28, 2004 and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178(q)(7). (07-10-2011)
Q.
Does OSHA require pallet racks to be anchored to the floor?

A.
Although employers will not find a specific OSHA rule requiring the anchoring of pallet racks, the agency will issue a General Duty Clause citation for exposing employees to struck-by and/or crushed-by hazards. OSHA will reference ANSI/RMI Material handling standard 16.1:2008 which specifies that all rack columns must be anchored to the floor with sufficient anchor bolts.

Source: OSHA historical violations, OSHA General Duty Clause and ANSI/RMI MH16.1:2008. (08-10-2011)
Q.
Will a new background investigation and fingerprints be required to renew my CDL?

A.
Drivers that seek to renew an existing Commerical Driver’s License (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement are required to complete a security risk assessment application and submit fingerprints to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Source: FMCSA mandate to state DMVs in 49 CFR Section 383.141 and reinforced in 49 CFR 1572.9. (09-10-2011)
Q.
Are implements of husbandry subject to DOT's requirements for commercial motor vehicles?

A.
DOT recently clarified that implements of husbandry are not commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and therefore not subject to the CMV regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's authority covers persons who operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Thus, even when an implement of husbandry crosses State lines and is considered interstate commerce, because it is not a CMV it would not be subject to the CMV regulations.

Source: FMCSA Guidance Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0146 regarding 49 CFR Parts 383 & 390 dated August 9, 2011. (10-10-2011)
Q.
OSHA requires that employers ensure prompt first aid treatment is available for injured employees. How does OSHA define prompt?

A.
Employers may elect to utilize a trained first aid provider at the worksite, or by ensuring that emergency treatment services are within reasonable proximity of the worksite. OSHA has long interpreted the term "near proximity" to mean that emergency care (first aid personnel and supplies) must be available within no more than 3-4 minutes from the workplace, an interpretation that has been upheld by federal courts.

Source: Mateus Letter of Interpretation dated April 18, 2002, Brogan Letter of Interpretation dated January 16, 2007 and 29 CFR 1910.151. (11-10-2011)
Q.
Which drivers are required to have the Tank Endorsement on their CDL?

A.
DOT recently revised the definition of Tank Vehicle to mean any commercial motor vehicle (including flatbed, straight truck, closed van) that is designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials within a tank or tanks having an individual rated capacity of more than 119 gallons and an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. A commercial motor vehicle transporting an empty storage container tank, not designed for transportation, with a rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is temporarily attached to a flatbed trailer is not considered a tank vehicle.

Source: 76 Federal Register 26878 dated May 9, 2011 and 49 CFR 383.5. (12-10-2011)
Q.
Can a dealer, who is a registered as an EPA pesticide-producing establishment, transfer bulk pesticide directly into a company-owned sprayer tank containing water or liquid fertilizer for application on a customer's farm?

A.
Yes, a dealer can transfer pesticide into their own spray tank containing water or liquid fertilizer for application on a customer's farm if the dealers' employee, and not the customer is applying the pesticide. A dealer does not have to report as production, pesticide transferred as part of their custom application business.

Sources: Asmark Institute Letter of Interpretation dated June 12, 2007 and the Enforcement Policy Applicable to Bulk Shipments of Pesticides dated July 11, 1977. (01-10-2012)
Q.
Is an emergency eyewash and/or shower required in a workplace that handles sealed containers of hazardous corrosive materials?

A.
Employers must determine if employees could potentially be exposed to hazardous corrosive materials in the course of their duties If hazardous corrosive materials are present in such a way that exposure could not occur (for example, in sealed containers that will not be opened, or caustic materials in building piping), then an eyewash or emergency shower would not be necessary. However, if the building piping containing caustic materials has a spigot or tap from which the contents could be accessed, then certainly, an eyewash and/or emergency shower would be needed.

Source: Bossow Letter of Interpretation dated June 1, 2009 and 29 CFR 1910.151. (02-10-2012)
Q.
When utilizing employees from a temporary service who is responsible for providing training on subjects such as hazard communication?

A.
While it is the temporary service that maintains the continuing relationship with its employees, the client leasing the employee actually creates and controls the hazards found in the workplace. OSHA says there is shared responsibility for assuring employees are protected from workplace hazards but the client utilizing the temporary employees has the primary responsibility, especially when it comes to any site-specific training and controlling potential exposure conditions.

Source: Moreau Letter of Interpretation dated February 3, 1994 and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200(h)(1). (03-15-2012)
Q.
When are farmers subject to the Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements?

A.
Anhydrous ammonia held by a farmer for their exclusive use as an agriculture nutrient is exempt from the RMP requirements as long as it is used on that establishment. Ammonia held by a farmer is not exempt if resold or used on another establishment. Farm cooperatives and groups of farmers who buy, use and sell ammonia are not exempt.

Source: EPA CAA 112(r) Update Volume 1, Number 3 dated November/December 1997, 40 CFR 68.125 and U.S. EPA website bulletin. (04-10-2012)
Q.
How often must a respirator wearer complete the OSHA medical questionnaire?

A.
OSHA's respiratory protection standard requires an initial medical evaluation be completed to determine the employee's ability to use a respirator before the employee is fit tested or required/allowed to use a respirator in the workplace. OSHA does not specify a certain interval for updating medical evaluations other than to require additional evaluations if an employee shows signs or symptoms that are related to the ability to wear a respirator.

Source: Norton Letter of Interpretation dated October 21, 2004 and 29 CFR 1910.134. (05-10-2012)
Q.
What type of goggles are approved for use in the routine transferring or handling of anhydrous ammonia?

A.
Federal OSHA prefers that goggles be non-vented, or gas tight; however, unventilated goggles tend to fog up, especially in hot or cold weather. OSHA says indirectly ventilated, or splash proof goggles are more comfortable and will provide adequate protection in most instances. Additionally, where splashing may occur, OSHA recommends a full-face shield be worn to protect the face. Always consult the Safety Data Sheet before selecting personal protective equipment for emergency response situations.


Source: Guidance taken from the OSHA eTools Website and 29 CFRs: 1910.120(g)(3), 1910.132 and 1910.133. (06-10-2012)
Q.
What are my options for providing access to employees of the written programs required by the various OSHA standards?

A.
OSHA requires that employers maintain copies of the required written programs in the workplace and ensure the documents are readily accessible to employees. OSHA allows for paper copies and electronic (computer) access as long as no barriers to immediate employee access are created. For instance, if a computer is used, all employees must know how to operate and be able to access the written program from the system.

Source: Ingram Letter of Interpretation dated September 16, 2008 and the respective OSHA Standard. (07-10-2012)
Q.
May employees use compressed air to clean off themselves or their clothing?

A.
OSHA allows compressed air to be used for cleaning purposes when the pressure is reduced to 30 p.s.i. and chip guarding and personal protective equipment is utilized, however, the agency has issued an interpretation saying that employers should not allow employees to use compressed air for cleaning themselves or their clothing.

Source: Ensworth Letter of Interpretation dated January 14, 1994 and 29 CFR 1910.242(b). (08-10-2012)
Q.
What is OSHA's position on the use of sweep augers for cleaning out grain bins?

A.
OSHA considers sweep augers to be unguarded augers and its Grain Handling Standard requires that before a worker enters a grain storage bin, "all mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment that presents a danger" to the workers be "de-energized, and ... disconnected, locked-out and tagged, blocked-off or prevented from operating by other equally effective means."

Source: Noem Letter of Interpretation dated February 16, 2012 and 29 CFR 1910.272(g)(l)(ii). (09-10-2012)
Q.
How does EPA define the distribution of ammonia when held by a farmer using the Risk Management Plan farm exemption?

A.
The term "distribution" is not specifically defined in EPA's rules or guidance, but the agency generally considers the "selling, trading, bartering, sharing and loaning of ammonia" as activities that would be subject to the requirement to prepare and implement a Risk Management Plan.

Source: Keller Letter of Interpretation dated November 13, 2002 and related excerpt from the Congressional Record dated July 10, 2002. (10-10-2012)
Q.
Does EPA distinguish between blending and mixing fertilizer?

A.
Under the Clean Water Act the federal government promulgated effluent discharge limitations from point source discharges. Fertilizer manufacturing is identified as a category of discharges found in 40 CFR Part 418. Subpart G defines mixed and blend fertilizers. As excepted from EPA's general definitions in 40 CFR Part 418, the term blended fertilizer shall mean a mixture of dry, straight and mixed fertilizer materials. The term mixed fertilizer shall mean a mixture of wet and/or dry straight materials, mixed fertilizer materials, fillers and additives prepared through chemical reaction to a given formulation.

Source: 40 CFR 418.71 (a-c) Fertilizer Manufacturing Point Source Category (11-10-2012)
Q.
Does EPA consider a bulk pesticide to be repackaged when transferred directly into a nurse truck, transport vehicle or application equipment that is owned by a farmer?

A.
The transfer of bulk pesticide directly into a sprayer applicator tank is not subject to EPA's repackaging regulations because the characteristics of the product cannot be maintained. Additionally, the transfer of bulk pesticide directly into a nurse truck or transport vehicle is not subject to EPA's repackaging regulations provided the tank is an integral part of the transport vehicle and serves as primary containment.

Source: 40 CFR 165.63(h) and 2006 Response to Comment Document regarding Application Equipment (12-10-2012)
Q.
Must a motor carrier maintain their driver qualification files at its 'principal place of business?'

A.
A motor carrier with multiple locations may maintain some records at locations other than, or in addition to, its principal place of business. Motor carriers must ensure the records are made available to the DOT agent upon their request for inspection at the principal place of business within 48 hours, not counting weekends or Federal holidays. Records required by Part 390 which includes driver qualification files are allowed as described above, as well as Parts 382, 387, 391, 395, 396 and 397.

Source: Notice of Regulatory Guidance published in the July 29, 2009 Federal Register, Pages 37653-37654 and 49 CFR 390.5. (01-10-2013)
Q.
Does OSHA allow the use of an attachment, such as a safety cage, on a forklift or end loader?

A.
A front-end attachment would generally be an addition within the meaning of 1910.178(a)(4) that affects capacity and safe operation. Section 1910.178(a)(5) assumes the forklift with factory-installed attachments will already be marked to identify the attachments and show the approximate weight of the truck and attachment combination at maximum elevation with the load laterally centered. Before a non-factory-installed attachment may be used the user must obtain the forklift manufacturer's written approval, and mark the forklift appropriately.

Source: Sund Letter of Interpretation dated July 3, 2002 and 29 CFR 1910.178(a)(4) & (5). (02-10-2013)
Q.
Are all facilities required by OSHA to have a fire prevention plan?

A.
OSHA requires a fire prevention plan be prepared in writing, be kept in the workplace and be made available to employees for review at a facility with 11 or more employees. An employer with 10 or fewer employees may communicate the plan orally to employees.

Source: Vinchattle Letter of Interpretation dated February 5, 1990 and 29 CFR 1910.39(b). (03-10-2013)
Q.
Can a computerized format of the medical questionnaire required by OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard be used to help satisfy compliance with the standard?

A.
If the medical questionnaire found in Appendix C is to be the sole basis for evaluating an employee's ability to use a respirator, then the questions in Part A must be asked at a minimum. OSHA allows the questions to be presented and answered in an electronic format with the completed form then being provided to a Physician or Licensed Health Care Practitioner for review.

Source: Colton Letter of Interpretation dated August 16, 2002 and 29 CFR 1910.134(e). (04-10-2013)
Q.
Must a worker that wears a dust mask with a N95 rating be fit tested?

A.
The N95-rated respiratory protection equipment commonly referred to as a dust mask is considered by OSHA to be a filtering face piece or respirator. Employers must meet all of the respiratory standard's requirements when an employee is required to wear a respiratory device. OSHA provides an exception for voluntary use of this type of respirator.

Source: McCarthy and Moss Letter of Interpretation dated March 4, 1996 and 29 CFR 1910.134(c) and (f). (05-10-2013)
Q.
What constitutes a work-related injury for the purpose of the OSHA's recordkeeping requirements?

A.
OSHA presumes an injury is work-related if it results from an event that occurs in the work environment. The work environment includes any location where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. OSHA interpretations provide examples of a work-related injury as being an employee that breaks their ankle in the parking lot, or an employee that receives a laceration as a result of horseplay.

Source: Colonna and Winkelman Letters of Interpretation dated November 15, 2010 and February 9, 2009 respectively. (06-10-2013)
Q.
OSHA requires first aid supplies be readily available in the workplace when an infirmary, clinic or hospital is not nearby within a 3-4 minute response time. Where do I find the list the items required to be in a first aid kit?

A.
OSHA cannot provide a list of exact requirements which will apply for every workplace. Each workplace must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the types of injuries and illnesses that are likely to occur at that workplace. Although not adopted by OSHA, the agency often refers employers to ANSI Standard Z308.1, Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits as a source of guidance.

Source: Mateus Letter of Interpretation dated April 18, 2002, 29 CFR 1910. 151 and ANSI Z308.1. (07-10-2013)
Q.
For facilities that are subject to OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM), when must Management of Change (MOC) be implemented?

A.
PSM requires employers develop and implement written MOC procedures to address the safety and health impacts of contemplated changes, including organizational changes, as they relate to process chemicals, technology, equipment, procedures and facilities. Organizational changes, such as changes resulting from mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, staffing changes, or budget revisions, may affect PSM at the plant level and would therefore trigger a PSM MOC procedure. Management changes that do not impact PSM covered processes are not affected by the MOC provisions of the PSM standard.

Source: Fairfax and Shalhoub Memo dated April 1, 2009, but not released until May 3, 2013 and 29 CFR 1910.119(l)(1). (08-15-2013)
Q.
Does DOT allow computerized recordkeeping of commercial motor vehicle inspection and maintenance information?

A.
Yes, if the minimum inspection, repair and maintenance records required are included in the computer information system and can be produced on demand.

Source: DOT, FMCSR Published Interpretation provided on April 12, 2013 and 49 CFR Part 396.3. (09-10-2013)
Q.
How should a retailer report anhydrous ammonia and phosphoric acid on their annual SARA Tier II report when it is held for both use in blending other fertilizers and for sale as straight (unblended) materials?

A.
EPA considers ammonia and phosphoric acid held for blending as the chemical ingredients used to make another fertilizer; they are not considered fertilizers themselves, and therefore must be reported on the Tier II report. The amounts of ammonia and phosphoric acid that are sold directly to the ultimate customer (without blending) are fertilizers exempt from reporting under Sections 311/312. Retailers may find it is beneficial to report all as opposed to tracking the ultimate use.

Source: EPA, EPCRA Frequent Questions - Exemption Interpretation provided on January 27, 2011. (10-01-2013)
Q.
What certification must one hold to conduct forklift training?

A.
OSHA does not require forklift trainers to hold any special certifications from a third party. Trainers can achieve the necessary qualifications in various ways, including extensive experience and training. Employers should designate employees that are knowledgeable, experienced, committed and trained on the specific equipment being used in the workplace.

Source: OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 and the Brant Letter of Interpretation dated July 23, 2003. (11-10-2013)
Q.
Does OSHA require that we inspect each forklift at the beginning of the workday or is it a requirement for every driver throughout the day to inspect the unit each time they get on?

A.
OSHA requires all powered industrial trucks to be examined before being placed in service. This examination is required daily or after each shift if the trucks are used on a round-the-clock basis. There is no specific OSHA requirement that a checklist be used but an employer does have the responsibility to determine the units are properly inspected. The inspection does not have to be in a written format, nor does the employer have to keep a record of the inspections on file.

Source: OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178(q)(7) and the Noffsinger Letter of Interpretation dated July 28, 2004. (12-10-2013)
Q.
Does OSHA require training and operator evaluation be conducted for each make and model of forklift the employee will operate?

A.
No, however OSHA does require employers ensure that each operator be trained and evaluated in the safe operation for each type of powered industrial truck that the operator will be assigned to operate in the workplace.

Source: Kraker Letter of Interpretation dated June 15, 1999 and 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(i). (01-10-2014)
Q.
Are farmers subject to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA) requirements?

A.
There are four major requirements under EPCRA. Farmers are required to comply with the emergency planning (Section 302) and the emergency release (Section 304) notification requirements. Reporting of inventory (Sections 311 and 312) is limited to those farms required to prepare or have available Safety Data Sheets under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

Source: EPA Frequently Asked Questions (Topic 23002-13920 created July 28, 2009 and revised October 25, 2013.) (02-10-2014)
Q.
Who is required to sign the annual OSHA 300-A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses?

A.
At the end of each calendar year, every employer must review all workplace injuries and illnesses recorded on an OSHA 300 Log for accuracy. After review, the employer must then create a summary using OSHA form 300-A. OSHA requires the form to be certified as to its accuracy by a company executive. Specifically, the company executive must certify that he or she has examined the OSHA 300 Log and that they reasonably believe, based on their knowledge of the process by which the information was recorded, that the annual summary is correct and complete. OSHA regulations define a company executive as: (a) the company's owner if it is a sole proprietorship or partnership; (b) a company officer; (c) the highest ranking company official working at the establishment; or (d) the immediate supervisor of that highest ranking company official.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission clarification regarding Secretary of Labor v. Buckner Steel, April 25, 2012. (03-10-2014)
Q.
What are my options for continuing to use anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks for which the ASME data plate has been lost or become illegible?

A.
DOT requires each pressurized vessel transporting a hazardous material in commerce on a public highway to be equipped with a legible ASME data plate. According to DOT, a person may choose to obtain a new replacement ASME data plate from the original manufacturer; provide for the appropriate visual, thickness and pressure tests/inspections specified under 49 CFR Parts 180.407 and 180.409; or remove the tank from service.

Source: DOT Hazardous Materials Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and 49 CFR Part 180.407.8 (Inspections ) and 407.9 (Qualifications). (04-10-2014)
Q.
Must the person who provides forklift training operate a Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) regularly?

A.
OSHA does not require forklift trainers to operate a PIT regularly (i.e. outside of their operator training duties) as part of their job function or responsibility. In general, the trainer will only have sufficient experience if he has the practical skills and judgment to be able to himself operate the equipment safely under the conditions prevailing in the employer's workplace.

Source: OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 and the Brant Letter of Interpretation dated July 23, 2003. (05-10-2014)
Q.
What does the agricultural exemption to the DOT hours of service rules cover?

A.
The exemption provides that the hours of service regulations "shall not apply to drivers transporting agricultural commodities for farm supplies for agricultural purposes..." The exemption is available "during the planting and harvesting seasons" as determined by each State. The law applies to two types of transportation. 1) The transport from the source of the agricultural commodity where the product is grown or raised - to a location within a 150 air-mile radius of the source. 2) The transport from a wholesale or retail distribution point of the farm supply to a location (farm where the product would be used) within a 150 air-mile radius.

Source: U.S. DOT FMCSA memorandum dated April 4, 2006 and Public Law 109-59 (SAFETEA-LU) Section 4130. Revised March 14, 2013. (06-10-2014)
Q.
Am I required to redo the calculations in my Risk Management Program each time RMP*Comp is updated?

A.
No, you do not have to redo your work if you have already completed your consequence analyses. RMP*Comp is based on EPA Offsite Consequence Analysis Guidance, which is an evergreen rather than a final document; it can be updated as new information or better modeling techniques become available. You are not required to redo your consequence analyses every time there is a change to the Guidance, however, as you develop your analyses, be sure to use either the latest version available.

Source: U.S. EPA website, Frequently Asked Questions section. Topic number 23002-35171, Created: 11-22-2013 and Last Modified: 2-24-2014 (07-10-2014)
Q.
Am I required to provide emergency response (HAZWOPER) training for my employees?

A.
OSHA's HAZWOPER standard covers emergency responses "by employees from outside the immediate release area or by other designated responders." The use of the "or" means that "responders" can be any persons so designated by the employer, including employees. Employees, not just outsiders, are covered if the employer expects them to perform emergency response operations for releases or substantial threats of releases of hazardous substances. HAZWOPER's paragraph (q) uses the term "responders" generally, which is interpreted to mean employees who respond to emergencies.

Source: Andree Letter of Interpretation dated June 29, 1992 and OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response rule (29 CFR 1910.120). (08-10-2014)
Q.
Does EPA allow a facility regulated by the Risk Management Program to store, use and access electronic versions of a code such as ANSI K61.1 or other standards that are required?

A.
Yes, provided the electronic records or documents are current and readily accessible to the facility employees that need them.

Source: Summers communication dated March 4, 2014, U.S. EPA and 40 CFR Part 68.48. (09-10-2014)
Q.
When is a gas cylinder considered to be in storage?

A.
OSHA considers an oxygen or fuel gas cylinder to be in storage when it is reasonably anticipated that gas will not be drawn from the cylinder within the next 24 hours. If gas is not reasonably anticipated to be drawn within 24 hours, the storage requirements must be met. Depending on the application, requirements may include the removal of regulators, installation of caps, transport to a designated storage area providing a minimum of 20 feet or use of a noncombustible barrier at least 5 feet high having a fire resistance rating of at least 30 minutes, and proper securement.

Source: Salvucci Letter of Interpretation dated January 23, 2004, Dineen Letter of Interpretation dated December 31, 1998, Yotz Letter of Interpretation dated May 8, 2006 and 29 CFR 1910.253 and 29 CFR 1926.350.

Note: This interpretation has been affected by a subsequent interpretation from OSHA. See also Ask ERICA published February 2015 citing the Yotz Letter of Interpretation dated May 8, 2006 and the Trammell Letter of Interpretation dated May 10, 2006. (10-10-2014)
Q.
Does OSHA allow forklift operators who are taking prescription drugs to operate a powered industrial truck?

A.
OSHA does not have a specific policy regarding powered industrial truck operators who use prescription drugs. However, under the Occupational, Safety and Health Act, employers must exercise reasonable diligence to protect employees and prevent violations. If an operator's ability to operate a forklift in a safe manner is impaired as a result of using medications an employer who is, or should be, aware of the impairment must take steps which could include not allowing the employee to operate the forklift.

Source: Flatter Letter of Interpretation dated February 21, 2006 and 29 CFR 1910.178. (11-10-2014)
Q.
Are employees that operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on the company lot (i.e. from the parking area to the maintenance shop) considered to be DOT-regulated drivers?

A.
A Court recently concluded that even though the employee's job functions did not require him to drive CMVs on public streets, the employee still met the federal DOT definition of a driver. As defined in 49 CFR 382.107, a driver is any person who operates a commercial motor vehicle. The case centered around an unannounced drug test that resulted in the termination of the employee. The Court noted the definition of a driver does not matter how frequently a person operates a CMV and further stated the driver's operation of CMVs created a potential safety risk to himself, his co-workers and possibly the public.

Source: Hargrove v. Mail Contractors of America Inc., No. 3-186/12-1210 (Iowa Ct. App. April 24, 2013) and 49 CFR Part 382.107. (12-10-2014)
Q.
Do you need to keep Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for commercial products such as Windex and White-Out?

A.
OSHA does not require SDS be provided to purchasers of household consumer products when the products are used in the workplace in the same manner that a consumer would use them, and therefore exposure is not greater than what the typical consumer would experience. This OSHA exemption is based, however, not upon the chemical manufacturer's intended use of his product, but upon how it actually is used in the workplace.

Source: Schatzow, Bunning and Wolf Letters of Interpretation dated January 9, 1990, March 31, 1989 and May 16, 1990 respectively. (01-10-2015)
Q.
What are the storage requirements that apply to acetylene and oxygen cylinders that are secured on a cart but not expected to be used within the next 24 hours?

A.
OSHA has taken steps to harmonize this requirement between the general industry and construction standards. Both general industry and construction employers who close cylinder valves and place cylinder protection caps on the cylinders will not be subject to citation for violating the respective cylinder storage provisions regardless of the period of time between uses. However, it must be noted that users of oxygen-acetylene welding assemblies must additionally comply with all other provisions of 1910.253 or 1926.350 (i.e., the non-storage provisions).

Source: Yotz Letter of Interpretation dated May 8, 2006, Trammell Letter of Interpretation dated May 10, 2006 and 29 CFR 1910.253 and 29 CFR 1926.350. (02-10-2015)
Q.
With the new January 1, 2015 reporting requirements implemented by OSHA, what if a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye does not occur during or right after the work-related incident?

A.
A fatality must be reported to OSHA if it occurs within 30 days of the work-related incident. An in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must only be reported to OSHA if it occurs within 24 hours of the work-related incident. However, all must be recorded on your OSHA injury and illness records, if you are required to keep such records.

Source: OSHA interpretation taken from their website based on 66 FR 6133, dated January 19, 2001 and 79 FR 56187-56188 dated September 18, 2014. (03-10-2015)
Q.
When used in an anhydrous ammonia installation, is there a regulatory requirement that specifies the maximum length of a stainless steel flexible hose?

A.
For use with ammonia the only guidance available is the requirement to select, install and utilize stainless steel flexible hoses in accordance with recognized generally-accepted engineering practices. Flexible hoses are designed for use in installations to offset the effects of vibration, tank settling, heaving and thawing of plumbed components and the misalignment of plumbed components and therefore should be installed per the manufacturers instructions. Typically flexible hoses are limited to a length no longer than required for proper installation. NFPA 58 establishes the maximum length of 60 inches for use with propane, as a similar example.

Source: Research of potential regulatory authorities such as ANSI, CGA, NFPA, EJMA, EPA, OSHA and survey of industry experts in February 2015. (04-10-2015)
Q.
Which form must I use to update my Motor Carrier Profile with U.S. DOT?

A.
A basic requirement of being a motor carrier in the U.S. is updating your MCS-150 Motor Carrier Profile every two years. DOT publishes two versions of the form; the standard MCS-150 and a MCS-150B. The MCS-150B version of the form is designed specifically to identify motor carriers with Hazardous Materials Safety Permits and the standard MCS-150 is for use by all others. Completing the MCS-150B form identifies you as a motor carrier that require a HM Safety Permit due to transporting trailer loads of anhydrous ammonia or other hazardous materials.

Source: FMCSR 49 CFR Part 385, Subpart E Hazardous Materials Safety Permits (49 CFR Parts 40, 325, 350 & 355-399) and DOT Interpretation. (05-10-2015)
Q.
Can NFPA 704 diamond markings be used to meet the OSHA Hazard Communication standard?

A.
OSHA says the NFPA 704 diamond markings alone would not meet the requirements of OSHA as the standard requires the identity of the material to be marked on the container.

Source: Duskin Letter of Interpretation dated May 1, 1986, Hinton Letter of Interpretation dated July 25, 1991, Miller Letter of Interpretation dated November 9, 2011 and 29 CFR 1910.1200. (06-10-2015)
Q.
Must aluminum phosphide be counted in the CFATS Top-Screen for a facility?

A.
Aluminum phosphide is a DHS sabotage/contamination Chemical of Interest. Therefore, a facility meets the STQ if it ships the chemical and is required to placard the shipment of that chemical pursuant to Subpart F of 49 DOT Part 172. If the facility does not ship aluminum phosphide, the facility does not have to count it on the Top-Screen.

Source: Gupton Helpdesk Resolution/Interpretation (Case number S20071120-5786) dated November 20, 2007. (07-10-2015)
Q.
Does the WPS requirement for posting a Pesticide Safety Poster apply to an agricultural retailer?

A.
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulation requiring a pesticide safety poster does not apply to agricultural retail facilities that handle pesticides onsite. The rule specifically excepts those employed by a commercial pesticide handling establishment. The safety poster requirement is intended to address safe handling of pesticides for the employees of agricultural operations (growers) and greenhouse operations where agricultural plants are grown.

Source: Bossard letter of interpretation dated April 7, 2015 and 40 CFR 170.235(a) and (b). (08-10-2015)
Q.
May motor carriers use electronic signatures to satisfy requirements such as driver qualification files?

A.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allows, but does not require, the use of electronic signatures to satisfy the requirements found in 49 CFR Parts 300-399 to sign or certify documents. FMCSA considers any electronic signature to meet their requirements if it; 1) Identifies and authenticates the person as the source, and 2) Indicates such person's approval of the information contained in the document.

Source: Notice of Regulatory Guidance dated January 4, 2011, the ESIGN Act of 2000 and the Government Paperwork Elimination Act. (09-10-2015)
Q.
Is a retail farm center that routinely stores and sells anhydrous ammonia to farmers subject to OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals rule?

A.
As of July 22, 2015 OSHA's Process Safety Management rule found at 29 CFR 1910.119 does apply to a retail facility even though more than half (>50%) of the income is from sales of anhydrous ammonia to the end user - farmers. OSHA changed their interpretation regarding the retail exemption, thus rescinding this long-standing exemption.

Source: Varnco Letter of Interpretation dated January 26, 2001 and 29 CFR 1910.119(a)(2)(i) has been replaced by the July 22, 2015 OSHA memo issued by Thomas Galassi, Directorate of Enforcement Programs. (10-10-2015)
Q.
What is the appropriate RMP 'program level' for a retailer assigned to NAICS Code 424910, and that either sells anhydrous ammonia or uses it to produce 10-34-0, which in turn, is sold?

A.
EPA's RMP) rules are keyed to “program levels” 1, 2 or 3. All facilities that do not meet the criteria for program 1 or 3, are considered program 2 facilities. Assuming the facility is ineligible for program 1, program 3 criteria must be reviewed. A process containing in excess of 10,000 pounds of ammonia is subject to the RMP program 3 requirements if the process is either: 1) in NAICS Code 32211, 32411, 32511, 325181, 325188, 325192, 325199, 325211, 325311, or 32532; or 2) subject to OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard. As of July 22, 2015 OSHA's PSM Standard applies to “retail” facilities with a NAICS Code of 424910, and thus the appropriate RMP program level would be program 3.

Source: The Fertilizer Institute letter dated March 5, 2004, 40CFR Part 68.10 and 29CFR 1910.119(a)(2)(i). See also Varnco Letter of Interpretation dated January 26, 2001 on PSM. Both letters have been voided by the July 22, 2015 OSHA memo issued by Thomas Galassi, Directorate of Enforcement Programs (11-10-2015)
Q.
Can a pressure vessel with missing or illegible ASME construction and design information (i.e. no dataplate, pedigree, national board number, U-1A form, etc.) be requalified for service?

A.
OSHA recognizes there are pressure vessels in use, especially older vessels, that do not have the Code-required nameplate, records and stampings (NRS). OSHA understands there are some requirements of the Code that cannot be satisfied when the NRS is not available. In cases where traceability is not possible, OSHA will treat as a de minimis violation any pressure vessel that is required by a specific OSHA standard, such as 1910.106(b)(1)(v), 1910.106(i)(3)(i) and (ii) to be built in accordance with the Code, but that does not have the Code-required NRS, provided the employer can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable steps to obtain or retain the required NRS and verifies the fitness-for-operations integrity of the vessels by utilizing the procedure contained in API 510, Section 6.7. This procedure includes performing inspections, defining design parameters, preparing supporting drawings and calculations, evaluating unidentified materials, use of radiography, marking with nameplate or stamping, and performing pressure testing.

Source: Morgan Letter of Interpretation dated July 17, 2006 and 29 CFR 1910.106. (12-10-2015)
Q.
Does OSHA allow worm-driven hose clamps to be utilized on airhose or other compressed air connections?

A.
Hose and hose connections used for conducting compressed air are required by OSHA to be designed for the pressure and service to which they are subjected. Worm-driven hose clamps cannot be used as they are not designed for use on airhose.

Source: OSHA Citation to Mahle Engine Components dated March 3, 2013 and 29 CFR 1910.243(b)(2). (01-10-2016)
Q.
Must glass exterior exit doors or large roll-up/sliding doors be posted with an exit sign?

A.
NFPA states exits, other than the main exterior exit doors that obviously and clearly are identifiable as exits, must be marked by an approved sign that is readily visible from any direction of exit access. ICC states exits and exit access doors shall be marked by an approved exit sign readily visible from any direction of egress travel. ICC provide for exceptions. 1) Exit signs are not required in rooms or areas that require only one exit or exit access; and 2) Main exterior exit doors or gates that are obviously and clearly identifiable as exits need not have exit signs where approved by the building official. This language is generally interpreted to mean that exits signs are not required for glass doors and large roll-up/sliding doors.

Source: ICC Code 1011.1 and NFPA Life Safety Code 101 section 7.10.1.2.1. (02-10-2016)
Q.
What safety measures are required for the ends of rotating shafts that project beyond the bearing or other housing?

A.
For projecting shaft ends, OSHA requires a smooth edge and end of the shaft. The shaft shall not project more than one-half the diameter of the shaft unless guarded by nonrotating caps or safety sleeves.

Source: OSHA 29 CFR 1910.219(c)(4) (03-10-2016)
Q.
According to OSHA, what is the minimum acceptable height of a toeboard on an elevated work platform?

A.
OSHA proposed a standard (29 CFR 1910.28(b)(7)(ii)) that reduced the vertical height of toeboards to be at least 3-1/2 inches from the top edge to the work surface. While the proposed rule was never adopted, the fact that OSHA made the proposal allows employers the option of utilizing the 3-1/2 inch or 4 inch vertical height of toe boards provided the employer can demonstrate the half an inch difference would not reduce the level of safety.

Source: DeClue Letter of Interpretation dated September 22, 1992 and archived under 29 CFR 1910.23. (04-10-2016)
Q.
Does the OSHA training and certification requirements for forklifts also apply to skid steer loaders and end loaders?

A.
OSHA does not include skid steer loaders and end loaders in the Powered Industrial Truck Standard (PITS) provided they were designed and used for earth-moving activities. The design and use of the machine is typically used to determine applicability, including the material being handled. The general use in fertilizer and around an agribusiness is typically considered outside the scope of the Material Handling Standard and may result in OSHA issuing violations under the General Duty Clause. It is recommended that employers utilizing this type of equipment at an agribusiness observe the PITS requirements.

Source: Letters of Interpretation: Petersen on October 21, 1999, Corbin on March 7, 2000, Pfister on June 27, 2011, SHIB 01-12-2009, 29 CFR 1910.178 and 29 CFR 1926.602. (05-10-2016)
Q.
Who can administer the DOT road test required as part of the driver qualification file?

A.
DOT does not specify a title or the training requirements of the person who may administer a road test. The rule simply states the person who will review the driver’s abilities must be competent him/herself in order to evaluate and determine whether or not the driver being tested is capable of operating the kind of commercial motor vehicle in which he/she would be assigned. A carrier may use someone within the organization such as a veteran driver, supervisor or someone from outside of the operation. The regulations require a driver who is a motor carrier be given a test by someone other than him/herself.

Source: FMCSA Compliance Review results and 49 CFR Part 391.31(b). (06-10-2016)
Q.
Must forklift operators be issued, or carry with them, a wallet card proving they have been trained and evaluated?

A.
Federal OSHA only requires the employer to retain the certification such as a training certificate, skills test or similar documentation that the operator has been trained and evaluated. The certification must include the name of the operator, the date of training, the date of evaluation and the identity of the person performing the training and evaluation.

Source: OSHA FAQ and 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(6). (07-10-2016)
Q.
How often must a motor vehicle record (MVR) be requested for a driver with a commercial drivers license (CDL)?

A.
DOT requires motor carriers to request a MVR for their CDL holders after each and every driver physical to verify the driver’s medical status. In order for a carrier to verify that its CDL drivers are following through with their obligation to submit proof of medical certification to the state licensing agency, it makes sense that the carrier must request the MVR each time. To do otherwise places the carrier at risk of using a driver whose CDL has been downgraded. A downgraded CDL is not a valid CDL for use in interstate commerce.

Source: FMCSA Compliance Review results, 49 CFR Parts 391.23 & 391.51 and wording from the December 1, 2008 Preamble. (08-10-2016)
Q.
What are my options for providing access to OSHA-required posters and notices to my employees?

A.
OSHA requires that employers provide readily-available access to the OSHA-required posters and notices to all employees at all times. OSHA suggests that physical copies, in their entirety, be posted in a conspicuous location. Electronic (computer or TV monitor) access may be allowed provided they display the required posters and notices in their entirety at all times. A monitor from which the information rotates through the information, and then starts over, would not satisfy the OSHA requirements.

Source: OSHA Safety and Health Program Audit results and 29 CFR 1903.2(a)(1). (09-10-2016)
Q.
Can my company accept the forklift certification from another employer in lieu of evaluating their knowledge and skills?

A.
No, at a minimum each employer must evaluate each operator by requiring them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills of the safe operation of a powered industrial truck. Employers do not have to provide duplicative training if they can verify that the training had already been completed.

Source: 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(i) and OSHA Frequently Asked Questions: PIT (10-01-2016)
Q.
Can a roadside DOT inspection, such as one conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, be used to satisfy the annual inspection requirements?

A.
As of July 22, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration eliminated the option for a motor carrier to satisfy the annual inspection requirement through a violation-free roadside inspection. Section 396.17(f) and 396.19 were revised and Section 396.23(a) was removed to facilitate this change.

Source: FMCSA FAQ, Federal Register Volume 81, Number 141, Friday July 22, 2016. (11-10-2016)
Q.
Can a safety chain be used in lieu of a swinging gate or offset passage to ladderway openings?

A.
OSHA requires a swinging gate or offset passage for ladderway openings, however, safety chains may be used for top and intermediate rails provided the employer ensures the safety chains provide at least as much protection as the swinging gate. Use of safety chains may result in a de minimis violation which carries no penalties.

Source: Clarkson Letter of Interpretation dated February 12, 1982 and 29 CFR 1910.23(a)(2). (12-10-2016)
Q.
Can an employee with facial hair successfully wear a respirator and meet the intent of the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard?

A.
OSHA allows facial hair as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the valve function of the respiratory device. Short mustaches, sideburns and small goatees that are neatly trimmed so that no hair compromises the seal of the respirator usually do not present a hazard. Special care is advised when completing the Respiratory Questionnaire and Fit Test procedures.

Source: Sands Letter of Interpretation dated May 9, 2016 and 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i). (01-10-2017)
Q.
Our facility has a street running through the property. Are our yard jockey drivers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?

A.
According to DOT, a driver is anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle that meets the weight or passenger design, or is transporting a placarded quantity of hazardous materials. DOT defines a highway as any road, street, or way, whether on public or private property, that is open to unrestricted public travel. Drivers furthering interstate commerce in vehicles and on highways defined above would be subject to the regulations.

Source: Enforcement case, Interpretive Study of 49 CFR Part 390.5. (02-10-2017)
Q.
Is treating or coating seed with fungicides, insecticides or nematicides before being put into bags or bulk containers considered by EPA to be repackaging and thus require an annual report?

A.
According to EPA, the act of applying pesticide to seed is considered a pesticide treatment and once the application has occurred the treated seed is not considered to be a pesticide, but rather a treated article.

Source: Asmark Institute research, contact with EPA and 40 CFR 152.25(a). (03-10-2017)
Q.
Does SARA Title III require that a retailer include fertilizer materials on their annual Tier II report?

A.
Title III excludes "any substance to the extent it is used in routine agricultural operations or is a fertilizer held for resale by a retailer to the ultimate customer." U.S. EPA in 2010 reversed this longstanding interpretation that fertilizer, especially blended fertilizer, held for resale by a retailer for sale to the ultimate customer, was exempt from being reported on the annual SARA Tier II Report. All fertilizer products blended, mixed or sold other than straight material must be reported as of 10-15-2010.

Source: Section 311(e) of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, Public Law 99-499, Codified at 42 U.S.C. Section 11022. Updated 10-15-2010 and 3-10-2017. (04-10-2017)
Q.
Must temporary holdings in inventory of DHS-regulated Chemicals of Interest be reported?

A.
A facility must file a Top-Screen to report all Chemical of Interest inventory held on-site at or above the Screening Threshold Quantity regardless of how long the facility is in possession of the regulated materials. A facility is required to file the Top-Screen within 60 calendar days of coming into possession of any of the Chemicals of Interest listed in Appendix A.

Source: DHS CFATS Knowledge Center, Interpretation Number 1754 published on July 20, 2015 and 6 CFR 27.210(a)(l)(i) and 27.210(c). (05-10-2017)
Q.
Does OSHA have any restrictions in issuing citations alleging violations that occurred in the past?

A.
OSHA can no longer issue citations alleging violations more than six months old as determined by a recent court case. Although the U.S. Supreme Court decision was related to a Securities and Exchange Commission case, it applies to OSHA as well. The Court held that the limitations period begins to run once a violation occurs, and is not postponed until the agency discovers or reasonably should have discovered the violation.

Source: Gabelli v. SEC, Johnson v. SEC and McDermott, Will & Emery Law Firm. (06-10-2017)
Q.
Is the DOT physical (long form) required as part of the driver qualification file?

A.
The long form DOT physical that is completed by the medical examiner is not listed in Part 391.51 as a required document to be present in the driver qualification file. The medical examiner is required to keep the form on file at his or her office.

Source: FMCSA Compliance Review results and 49 CFR Part 391.51. (07-10-2017)
Q.
Does DOT allow screenshots in lieu of motor vehicle records in the driver qualification file?

A.
Motor carriers are required to obtain a driving record (MVR) from the licensing agency within 30 days of hire (391.23) and at least annually after that (391.25). Specifically for the purpose of obtaining a driving record within 15 days of each new medical exam (391.51(b)(7), a motor carrier may elect to either obtain the MVR or a screenshot from a state’s driver licensing agency website, provided it contains all the required information as required.

Source: Garney Letter of Interpretation dated March 28, 2016 and 49 CFR Part 391. (08-10-2017)
Q.
How long does the motor carrier with a new driver have to obtain and review their Previous Employer’s Safety Information for the driver qualification file?

A.
Motor carriers must have either a completed safety performance history from the former DOT- regulated employer within the first 30 days of employment or have documented in good faith their effort to obtain the required information. Motor carriers should request this information immediately upon hiring the driver because the former employer is allowed 30 days to respond.

Source: FMCSA Frequently Asked Questions and 49 CFR Part 391.23 and 391.53. (09-10-2017)
Q.
May an employer accept proof of training from a new employee on subjects required by OSHA?

A.
Unless addressed specifically such as in the powered industrial truck standard, that contains provisions for avoiding duplicative training, OSHA does not allow an employer to rely on training provided by a previous employer. Employers are required to make sure each person has up-to-date, workplace-specific training unless a rule specifically provides an exception.

Source: Lotz Letter of Interpretation dated January 20, 2004. (10-10-2017)
Q.
What is the employer's responsibility to provide a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in the event of a catastrophe such as an earthquake or fire?

A.
The Hazard Communication Standard applies to any chemical which is known to be present in the workplace in such a manner that employees may be exposed under normal conditions of use or in a foreseeable emergency. A foreseeable emergency includes, but would not be limited to, equipment failure, rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment which could result in an uncontrolled release. This does not include fires or other catastrophic events. (11-10-2017)
Q.
Is a copy of the driver’s license required to be maintained in their driver qualification file?

A.
No, a copy of the license is not a DOT requirement. If you want to retain a copy of the current driver’s license as a company policy, DOT does not prohibit it.

FMCSA Compliance Review results, FMCSA FAQ Guidance and 49 CFR Part 391.51. (12-10-2017)
Q.
Does OSHA consider the removal of the backrest extension from a forklift to be a modification that requires approval from the manufacturer?

A.
No. OSHA does not consider the removal of the backrest extension a modification of the forklift. OSHA requires that if a load can fall back onto the operator; the employer must equip the forklift with a vertical load backrest extension. As long as the forklift's load does not present a hazard to the operator, the forklift is not required to be equipped with a backrest extension.

Source: Hamel Letter of Interpretation dated March 5, 2012 and 29 CFR 1910.178(e)(2). (01-10-2018)
Q.
May drivers of commercial motor vehicles drive with a medical examiners certificate that has the status of pending as assigned by a Doctor?

A.
DOT allows the status of pending to be used by doctors to gather more information or records they may need to properly make their decision. The status of pending has no official result that extends the expiration date of the driver's certification. The driver is qualified until; 1) a decision is made on the new medical exam; 2) the pending status expires without a determination; or 3) the prior medical card expires, whichever occurs first.

Source: FMCSA Form 5875, Richard Frye Article of Instruction and 49 CFR. (02-10-2018)
Q.
Are employers required to maintain copies of Safety Data Sheets on file for 30 years?

A.
OSHA requires employers to maintain some record of the identity of toxic substances or those agents that pose harm to exposed employees for 30 years after the last day of its use. The intent is to have the employer make important health-related information accessible to current and former employees. OSHA wanted employers to include information about when and where the chemical was used. The when and where requirement was deemed to be too stringent so OSHA gave employers two options for retaining the information: 1) Retain a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), or 2) Create a record with the identity of the material and information about where and when it was used.

Source: Strasheim Letter of Interpretation dated November 8, 1985 and 29 CFR 1910.1020. (03-10-2018)
Q.
Who can administer a fit test for a person required to wear a respirator by OSHA?

A.
OSHA does not specify a title, certification or training requirements of the person who may administer a fit test. The rule simply states the person who will administer the fit test be familiar with at least one of the two acceptable fit test methods as well as the limitations of the models of respirators being tested. The person should also be familiar with the written respiratory protection program, follow the fit test procedures closely and document the results in writing.

Source: OSHA Instruction Manual CPL 2-2.54A, Miles Memo to Regional Administrators and 29 CFR 1910.134. (04-15-2018)
Q.
When are lighting and marking requirements required for implements of husbandry?

A.
Congress, using MAP-21, statutorily mandated the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to adopt specific lighting and marking standards for agricultural equipment that are equivalent to ASABE Standard 279.14, or any successor standard. The lighting and marking requirements were a voluntary standard until the June 22, 2016 action made it a requirement for manufacturers. Equipment manufactured after June 22, 2017 is required to be in compliance with the new lighting and marking requirements. Equipment manufactured earlier than June 22, 2017 does not require retrofitting.

Source: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), 49 CFR Part 562, Federal Register Volume 81, Number 120, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, Pages 40528-40534 and ASABE S279.17 and S620. (05-10-2018)
Q.
Can a driver of a commercial motor vehicle meet the minimum qualifications required by DOT if using medical marijuana prescribed or recommended by a licensed medical practitioner?

A.
No. Marijuana, including any mixture or preparation containing marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, a person is not physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if they use any Schedule I controlled substance, even if is recommended by a licensed medical practitioner.

Source: FMCSA Frequently Asked Questions, Interpretation issued October 23, 2017. (06-10-2018)
Q.
Is a copy of the waiver for a DOT-regulated driver required to be maintained on file in the driver qualification file?

A.
Yes. If a waiver has been granted then a copy must be maintained in the driver qualification file per the federal rule. If the driver works within intrastate commerce they would have to provide a waiver for the individual program within their state.

Source: FMCSA Frequently Asked Questions, Interpretation issued October 23, 2017 and 49 CFR 391.51(b)(8). (07-10-2018)
Q.
Must a facility that is subject to the Risk Management Program (RMP) notify EPA of a change in the emergency contact?

A.
Yes. Owners or operators of a RMP-regulated facility are required to submit a correction within one month of any change in the emergency contact information. EPA recognizes that personnel changes may take longer than a month, but in that event, it expects the owner or operator to have assigned the responsibility to someone in the interim. EPA believes it is reasonable to require facilities to supply the name of an interim emergency contact person until a permanent person is in place.

Source: EPA Frequently Asked Questions, Interpretation issued March of 2018 and 40 CFR 68.195(b). (08-10-2018)
Q.
Does OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard apply to “retail” facilities?

A.
The original PSM standard did not define the term “retail” which caused confusion over the years. The 1992 final rule provides an exemption for retail facilities. Recently, OSHA released guidance stating that citations will not be issued for employers in NAICS codes 424510, 424590 and 424910. Due to the Court’s invalidation of the 2015 memo regarding OSHA’s interpretation of the term retail retailers should revert back to the basic understanding and guidance from 1992 and subsequent years.

Source: Galassi memo dated April 30, 2018, OSHA memo dated July 22, 2015, Varnco Letter of Interpretation dated January 26, 2001 and 29 CFR 1910.119(a)(2)(i). (09-10-2018)
Q.
OSHA says I need chock blocks while loading/unloading a truck, DOT says I don’t - what do I do?

A.
OSHA is preempted from enforcing their requirements for chocking because DOT has asserted jurisdiction over the same issue. DOT requires all Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) to be prevented from movement during loading/unloading operations by means of a parking brake. However, since all trucks are not CMVs then there are certain vehicles that are duly subject to the OSHA rules. To ensure safety require chocking of wheels regardless of who has jurisdiction.

Source: Cole Letter of Interpretation (OSHA) dated March 7, 2011, includes a chronological account of relevant OSHA and DOT interactions. (10-10-2018)
Q.
Does EPA consider a tank anchored if it always holds enough pesticide so it would not float if the secondary containment unit fills with liquid?

A.
Yes. EPA considers this a form of anchoring because it would prevent flotation if the secondary containment unit filled with liquid. If a facility chooses to anchor a tank in this way, the level of pesticide in the tank must always be at or above the required volume, and the facility should have documentation of the buoyant force calculations that support the required minimum volume.

Sources: 40 CFR 165.85(d) and EPA Frequently Asked Questions on the Container and Containment Labeling Requirements dated May 23, 2017. (11-10-2018)
Q.
When am I required to wear a seat belt on a forklift?

A.
While you will not find this answered in the Standard, OSHA’s enforcement policy states that operators of forklifts equipped with operator restraint devices, including seat belts, are required to use them if the manufacturer of the unit has provided them. The Standard prohibits the removal of seat belts from forklifts.

Sources: Noffsinger Letter of Interpretation dated July 28, 2004 and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178(q)(6). (12-10-2018)
Q.
Is a DOT pre-employment drug test required if a driver returns to their previous employer after having been terminated?

A.
Yes. A drug test must be performed for any CDL driver after having left the control of the motor carrier for more than 30 days unless documentation can be provided excepting the driver.

Sources: FMCSA Frequently Asked Questions, 49 CFR Part 382.301 and Part 382.301(c)(1). (01-10-2019)
Q.
Can a DOT pre-employment drug test be administered for a driver that does not yet hold a CDL?

A.
A pre-employment drug test may be performed if the driver is going to be, or could reasonably end up, operating a commercial motor vehicle that requires a CDL. A negative drug test result must be received before a CDL driver is permitted to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Caution must be exercised to ensure non-CDL drivers are not included in the random drug testing program.

Sources: Interpretations compiled by Summers November 3, 2018 from audit experiences, peer review and 49 CFR Part 382.103, 107 & 301. (02-10-2019)
Q.
Is the use of a cold compression therapy device for a work-related injury or illness considered medical treatment by OSHA?

A.
Yes. While some of the individual components of cold compression therapy devices are included on the first aid list, cold compression therapy devices also include a component of physical therapy and physical therapy is not included on the first aid list. Since one of its components involves physical therapy, use of these devices would constitute medical treatment beyond first aid and is recordable for the purposes of OSHA recordkeeping.

Sources: Blankenheim Letter of Interpretation dated December 21, 2017 and 29 CFR Part 1904.7. (03-10-2019)
Q.
If an employer allows voluntary use of respirators, is the employer required to fit test the employees?

A.
No. The voluntary use of respirators in work atmospheres which are not hazardous does not require the respirator wearer to be fit tested. If employers allow the voluntary use of elastomeric facepiece and powered air-purifying respirators, the employer must implement the elements of a written respiratory protection program necessary to ensure that employees voluntarily using such respirators are medically qualified. The respirator must also be cleaned, stored and maintained so that its use does not present a health hazard to the user.

Sources: Porter Letter of Interpretation dated April 26, 2018 and 29 CFR Part 1910.314. (04-10-2019)
Q.
When a specification portable tank is filled with a non-regulated material does it need to meet the portable tank loading requirements?

A.
No. A material that is not defined as a "hazardous material" in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) is not subject to the requirements of the HMR, including the requirements for loading of portable tanks.

Sources: Daum Letter of Interpretation dated July 18, 2017 and 49 CFR Part 173.32. (05-10-2019)
Q.
If the person responsible for implementing our SPCC plan needs changed, do we need a PE to re-certify the plan?

A.
No. Non-technical amendments such as a change in the name or contact information of the person responsible for implementation of the plan can be done by the owner or operator.

Sources: SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors dated December 16, 2013 and 40 CFR Part 112.5. (06-10-2019)
Q.
Are chemicals of interest in hazardous waste to be counted towards a screening threshold quantity under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards?

A.
In calculating whether it possesses the screening threshold quantity of a chemical of interest, the facility need not include chemicals of interest in solid waste (including hazardous waste) regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, except for waste described in 40 CFR 261.33.

Sources: DHS CFATS Knowledge Center, Interpretation Number 1398 published on August 2, 2018 and 6 CFR 27.203. (07-10-2019)
Q.
Under the Occupational Noise Exposure standard, does an employer have the option to establish new audiometric testing baselines due to a change of ownership?

A.
No. When an employer's business changes ownership and remains at the same location retaining the current employees, the employer is required to transfer all audiograms including baseline audiograms to the new employer. However, if the business changes ownership, relocates and hires new employees, then under these circumstances, the new business would have to establish new baselines for the new employees within six months.

Sources: Herrera Letter of Interpretation dated December 5, 2008 and 29 CFR 1910.95(g). (08-10-2019)
Q.
Is a forklift considered in view of an operator when the operator is not looking at the vehicle for short periods of time? For example, because he has briefly turned his back on the vehicle or has looked away from the vehicle to perform a momentary operation, such as grabbing something to load onto a pallet.

A.
The Powered Industrial Trucks standard does not define the term “in his view.” In light of the purpose of the standard, a vehicle would normally remain in view of an operator during momentary or brief periods of time that an operator may glance away from the vehicle, provided that there are no other obstructions to the view.

Sources: Orr Letter of Interpretation dated September 11, 2018 and 29 CFR 1910.178(m)(5)(ii). (09-10-2019)
Q.
Can a driver use electronic logging software if an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) malfunction occurs?

A.
A driver may use paper logs, electronic logging software, or other electronic means to record their hours-of-service if the ELD malfunction hinders the accurate recording of the driver's hours-of-service data.

Sources: FMCSA Frequently Asked Questions, Interpretation dated May 1, 2019 and 49 CFR 395.34. (10-10-2019)
Q.
Are adhesive stickers or paints allowed on hard hats?

A.
OSHA would consider painting or placing adhesive stickers acceptable if the hard hat manufacturer authorizes the alteration or the employer can demonstrate that the reliability of the helmet is not affected by the paint or the adhesive on the stickers; and the paint or placement of stickers would not reduce the ability to identify defects (i.e., use of see-through stickers) or other conditions that would indicate a reduced reliability.

Sources: Cohan Letter of Interpretation dated October 27, 2009 and 29 CFR 1910.132 & 135. (11-10-2019)
Q.
Where must vehicle inspection and maintenance records be retained if a vehicle is not housed or maintained at a single location?

A.
The motor carrier may retain the records at a location of its choice. If the vehicle maintenance records are retained at a location apart from the vehicle, the motor carrier is not relieved of its responsibility for ensuring that the records are current and factual. In all cases, however, upon request the maintenance records must be made available within a reasonable period of time (2 working days).

Sources: DOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Interpretation and 49 CFR 396.3. (12-10-2019)