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OSHA explains Process Safety Management in 3 specific settings

New guidance helps small businesses, storage facilities, explosives and pyrotechnics manufacturers

Posted April 3, 2017

Under OSHA’s Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals Standard (PSM), affected employers must comply with a set of complex regulations for managing the hazards associated with processes that use any of more than 130 specific toxic and reactive chemicals when they reach listed threshold amounts, or to certain flammable gases and liquids in processes of 10,000 pounds or more.

In the past two years, OSHA tried to make changes to its enforcement policies as they applied to the so-called “PSM retail exemption,” which significantly limited the number of employers who could call themselves “retailers,” and to the way hazardous chemicals are considered for coverage under PSM when in mixtures. In October 2016, a federal court vacated OSHA’s policy on the retail exemption. However, after a short delay of the enforcement date, and a subsequent clarification memo, OSHA is now enforcing its new PSM-covered chemical concentrations policy.

With all of these delays and reversals of OSHA’s PSM policies, is it any wonder that industry is confused about when and how to comply with the PSM standard?

To address this confusion, OSHA recently released a trio of guidance documents to better explain the PSM requirements in three specific settings:

  • Explosives and pyrotechnics manufacturing;
  • Small businesses; and
  • Storage facilities.

Each guidance document contains sections on the applicability of the standard to the industry, written process safety information, Process Hazard Analysis, training, mechanical integrity, compliance audits, and frequently asked questions.

Find all three documents on OSHA’s website.

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