OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
November 12, 1992
MEMORANDUM FOR: BARBARA BRYANT, DIRECTOR OFFICE OF STATE PROGRAMS
FROM: RAYMOND E. DONNELLY, DIRECTOR DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
SUBJECT: MOSH Comments on CPL 2-2.45A, Process Safety Management (PSM)
The following are responses to some of the concerns raised by the State of Maryland in a letter of September 18, to Bruce Hillenbrand.
2.a.) Q: Is a State without a team leader with prior experience in the chemical industry precluded from conducting targeted (PQV) inspections?
A: Paragraph I.4. of the published directive instructs each State to have one or more CSHOs trained to meet their requirements for PQV team leaders. Wherever possible, the CSHOs receiving this training should have experience in the chemical industry as described in Paragraph I.1.b. In the absence of such experience in a State Plan State, Federal OSHA will provide a team leader to lead the PQV inspection, with the understanding that the State has assured that State PQV team members meet the training requirements in Paragraph I.2.
2.b.) Q: Will States or OSHA offices which do not have PQV team leaders with experience in the chemical industry be precluded from performing unprogrammed inspections?
A. Paragraphs H.3. & 4. and I.3. of the published directive respond directly to this question. These allow initial responses to PSM-related unprogrammed inspections, depending on the circumstances, to be performed by CSHOs who have not met the prescribed PQV team training and experience requirements. As the referenced paragraphs indicate, referrals for PQV inspections may be made depending on initial findings.
3. Q. Can you give an example of an intrinsically safe camera?
A. Still cameras that operate without batteries are acceptable for use in process areas. Video cameras with telephoto lenses can be used from points outside the process areas.
4. Q. Why are the "requirements" in nonmandatory Appendix G of the published directive not the same as those in the body of the directive?
A. It is not the intent of the Appendix G to place requirements on OSHA staff, but rather to provide helpful guidance in preparation for a PQV inspection, which is envisioned to be quite resource intensive. To the extent any nonmandatory guidance in Appendix G may appear to conflict with requirements in the body of the directive, the language in the body of the directive takes precedence.
5. Q. The State of Maryland asked for further guidance in the directive on determining the percentage of hazard analyses completed.
A. The Standard appears relatively clear on the issue. Please indicate the specific areas of concern and provide related questions for us to answer.