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 https://www.osha.gov.

March 21, 1995

Mr. John C. Stoney Manager,
Process Safety Albright and Wilson Americas, Inc.
2151 King Street Ext.
Charleston, SC 29405-8339

Dear Mr. Stoney:

This is in response to your letter of February 2, 1995, regarding paragraph (o), "Compliance Audits" of the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals Standard, 29 CFR 1910.119.

In your letter, you inquired whether your facility would need to verify compliance by July 1, 1995 or May 26, 1995, after your initial audit was conducted in July 1, 1992. You also inquired whether the repeat audit and audit report must be initiated or completed by 1995.

Paragraph (o)(1) of 1910.119 states, "Employers shall certify that they have evaluated compliance with the provisions of this section at least every three years to verify that the procedures and practices developed under the standard are adequate and are being followed." Although the effective date of the Standard was May 26, 1992, it would be reasonable to allow your facility to verify compliance by July 1, 1995, if necessary.

In response to your second inquiry, the July 1995 audit must be completed by July 1, 1995, as explained above. According to paragraph (o)(4), "the employer shall promptly determine and document an appropriate response to each of the findings of the compliance audit, and document that deficiencies have been corrected." That is, the documentation of the audit findings need not only be initiated, but the Standard requires that deficiencies be corrected as promptly as possible.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director Directorate of Compliance Programs