Process Safety Management laws & safety compliance analysis

Process Safety Management: What you need to know

Facilities that use processes that involve chemicals with threshold values at or above those specified in Appendix A of the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals Standard (PSM) (29 CFR 1910.119, Appendix A) or flammable liquids or gas of 10,000 pounds or more must comply with the requirements of the rule. The PSM rule is administered by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It contains requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals to help assure safe and healthful workplaces to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals that may result in toxic, fire, or explosion hazards.

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The standard mainly applies to manufacturing industries related to chemical production or use, transportation equipment, and fabricated metal products. Other affected sectors include natural gas liquids, farm product warehousing, electric, gas, and sanitary services, and wholesale trade. It also applies to pyrotechnics and explosives manufacturers covered under other OSHA rules and has special provisions for contractors working in covered facilities.

The key provision of PSM is process hazard analysis (PHA)-a careful review of what could go wrong and what safeguards must be implemented to prevent releases of hazardous chemicals. Covered employers must identify those processes that pose the greatest risks and begin evaluating those first.

PSM and Risk Management Plan (RMP) compatibility. The PSM standard is required by the Clean Air Act Amendments as is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) RMP. Facilities often merge the two sets of EPA requirements into their PSM ...

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