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Process Safety Management

Unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals have been reported for many years in various industries that use chemicals with such properties. Regardless of the industry that uses these highly hazardous chemicals, there is a potential for an accidental release any time they are not properly controlled, creating the possibility of disaster.

To help ensure safe and healthful workplaces, OSHA has issued the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard (29 CFR 1910.119), which contains requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals.

Process safety management (PSM) is addressed in specific standards for the general and construction industries. OSHA's standard emphasizes the management of hazards associated with highly hazardous chemicals and establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures, and management practices.

Standards

This section highlights OSHA standards, preambles to final rules (background to final rules), directives (instructions for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), other federal standards, and national consensus standards related to PSM.

OSHA

Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

  • 1910 Subpart H, Hazardous materials
    • 1910.119, Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals
      • Appendix A, List of highly hazardous chemicals, toxics and reactives (Mandatory)
      • Appendix B, Block flow diagram and simplified process flow diagram (Nonmandatory)
      • Appendix C, Compliance guidelines and recommendations for process safety management (Nonmandatory)
      • Appendix D, Sources of further information (Nonmandatory)

Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)

  • 1926 Subpart D, Occupational health and environmental controls
    • 1926.64, Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals
      • Appendix A, List of highly hazardous chemicals, toxics and reactives (Mandatory)
      • Appendix B, Block flow diagram and simplified process flow diagram (Nonmandatory)
      • Appendix C, Compliance guidelines and recommendations for process safety management (Nonmandatory)
      • Appendix D, Sources of further information (Nonmandatory)

Preambles to Final Rules

Directives

Standard Interpretations

Other Federal

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

US Department of Defense

  • 5154.4S, Ammunition & Explosives Safety Standards

  • 4145.26M, Contractor's Safety Manual for Ammunition, Explosives and Related Dangerous Material

National Consensus

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Petroleum Institute (API)

  • 2015-1994, Safe Entry and Cleaning of Petroleum Storage Tanks, Planning and Managing Tank Entry from Decommissioning Through Recommissioning, Fifth Edition

  • 500-1992, Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum Facilities, First Edition

  • 510-1992, Pressure Vessel Inspection Code: Maintenance Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration, Seventh Edition. Includes Supplement 1 and Supplement 2.

American Petroleum Institute (API)

  • 598, Valve Inspection and Testing, Seventh Edition

  • 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction, Second Edition. Includes Addendum 1.

  • API Recommended Practices
    • RP 574-1992, Inspection of Pressure Relieving Devices, First Edition
    • RP 520-1-1992, Sizing, Selection, and Installation of Pressure-Relieving Devices in Refineries Part I, "Sizing and Selection," Sixth Edition
    • RP 752, Management of Hazards Associated With Location of Process Plant Buildings, CMA Manager's Guide, First Edition
    • RP 2003, Protection Against Ignitions Arising Out of Static, Lightning, and Stray Currents, Fifth Edition
    • RP 574-1992, Inspection of Piping, Tubing, Valves, and Fittings, First Edition
    • RP 55, Conducting Oil and Gas Producing and Gas Processing Plant Operations Involving Hydrogen Sulfide, Second Edition
    • RP 2220, Improving Owner and Contractor Safety Performance, First Edition
    • RP 750, Management of Process Hazards, First Edition
    • RP 521-1992, Guide for Pressure-Relieving and Depressuring Systems, Third Edition

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The NFPA mission is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

  • 495, Explosive Materials Code. Covers the manufacture, transportation, storage, sale, and use of explosive materials.

  • 77, Recommended Practice on Static Electricity

  • 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems

Hazard Recognition

Hazardous chemical releases pose a significant threat to workers. The key provision of process safety management (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. The following references help begin a PHA by recognizing process hazards.

Evaluation and Control

An effective process safety management (PSM) program requires a systematic approach to evaluating the whole chemical process. The following references aid in evaluating and controlling process hazards in the workplace.

Evaluation

  • 29 CFR 1910.119, Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals. OSHA Standard.
    • Appendix C, Compliance guidelines and recommendations for process safety management (Nonmandatory). Serves as a non-mandatory guideline to assist employers and employees in complying with the requirements of this section, as well as provides other helpful recommendations and information.

  • OSHA Technical Manual (OTM). OSHA Directive TED 01-00-015 [TED 1-0.15A], (1999, January 20).
  • Chemical Reactivity Worksheet. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Response and Restoration. Provides information about the reactivity of substances or mixtures of substances.

Control

Additional Information

Related Safety and Health Topics Pages

Training

Other Resources

  • American Petroleum Institute (API). API develops standards that identify and support proven, sound engineering and operating practices, and safe, interchangeable equipment and materials, for use in the petroleum industry. API is an accredited Standards Developing Organization that meets the due process requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
    • API Publications
      • 945-1992, Avoiding Environmental Cracking in Amine Units, First Edition
      • 2009, Safe Welding and Cutting Practices in Refineries, Gasoline Plants, and Petrochemical Plants, Sixth Edition
      • 920-1992, Prevention of Brittle Fracture of Pressure Vessels, First Edition

  • Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME). IME is the safety association of the commercial explosives industry in the United States and Canada.
    • Safety Library Publications (SLPs)
      • SLP 1: Construction Guide for Storage Magazines
      • SLP 2: The American Table of Distances
      • SLP 3: Suggested Code of Regulations for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, Sale, Possession, and Use of Explosive Materials
      • SLP 4: Warnings and Instructions
      • SLP 12: Glossary of Commercial Explosives Industry Terms
      • SLP 17: Safety in the Transportation, Storage, Handling & Use of Commercial Explosive Materials
      • SLP 20: Safety Guide for the Prevention of Radio Frequency Radiation Hazards in the Use of Commercial Electric Detonators (Blasting Caps)
      • SLP 22: Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Detonators in a Vehicle with Certain Other Explosive Materials and Generic Guide for the use of IME 22 Container (insert-12/94)

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