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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.119(e)(4)

November 19, 2001

Mr. Robert Summers
The Norac Company, Inc.
405 S. Motor Avenue
P.O. Box 577
Azusa, CA 91702-0706

Dear Mr. Summers:

Thank you for your September 21 letter to Richard E. Fairfax, Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Compliance Programs. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence. You requested clarification as to whether OSHA specifically requires a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) facilitator to have formalized training in order to lead/facilitate a PHA.

Paragraph (e)(4) of OSHA's standard 29 CFR 1910.119 (Processs Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals) requires, "the process hazard analysis shall be performed by a team with expertise in engineering and process operations, and the team shall include at least one employee who has experience and knowledge specific to the process being evaluated. Also, one member of the team must be knowledgeable in the specific process hazard analysis methodology being used."

The standard does not specify formal training requirements (e.g., attending courses) for PHA team members. However, according to the above provision, if an OSHA representative needs to determine whether a team member or the facilitator is knowledgeable in the chosen PHA methodology, the OSHA representative may choose to review training records (formal, non-formal, on-the-job training, etc.) and interview team members. Based on the acquired information, the OSHA representative would then determine if the team leader or other members have acquired a level of understanding that enables them to effectively use the chosen methodology. The chosen methodology is used to plan and organize a systematic effort to identify and analyze potential hazards associated with highly hazardous chemicals within PSM-covered processes.

For your information we have enclosed an excerpt (Section 4: Process Hazard Analysis) of 1910.119's nonmandatory Appendix C, Compliance Guidelines and Recommendations for Process Safety Management. This excerpt will give you additional information on PHA team member qualifications.

As you may know, the State of California is administering its own occupational safety and health program under a plan approved and monitored by Federal OSHA. Therefore, employers in the State of California must comply with State occupational safety and health requirements. As a condition of plan approval, states are required to adopt and enforce occupational safety and health standards at least as effective as those promulgated by Federal OSHA. If you would like further information regarding CAL/OSHA requirements for process hazard analysis, you may contact the California Department of Industrial Relations at the following address:

Vernita Davidson, Manager CAL/OSHA Program
California Department of Industrial Relations
455 Golden Gate Avenue - 10th floor
San Francisco, California 94102

Telephone (415)703-5116
Fax (415)703-5114

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-1850.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

cc:  Regional Administrator, Region IX

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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