Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.119

February 4, 2013

Mr. Joel Neal
President, Local 931 United Steelworkers
3333 South Oquirlane Street
Magna, Utah 84044

Dear Mr. Neal:

Thank you for your October 1, 2012, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regional office in Denver, Colorado. The regional office referred your questions to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs in Washington, D.C. for reply. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements referenced below and may not be applicable to any question not included in your original correspondence. You inquire about OSHA's standard for Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (PSM), 29 CFR 1910.119. Specifically, you ask about training requirements for personnel maintaining covered processes. We paraphrased your scenarios and questions and provided responses below.

Scenario 1: We have two mechanics trained and certified by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors to repair and/or test pressure relief devices (PRDs). They repair And/or test Consolidated, Anderson Greenwood/Crosby, Kunkle, Farris, Full Flow PRDs and more. In addition, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) offer 10 to 40 hour initial training classes and refresher classes. Our company wants to condense classes to save money and time.

Question 1a: Does 29 CFR 191 0.119(g) require our mechanics to be initially trained for PRDs?

Response: Yes, however, the relevant provision of the Secretary of Labor's regulations is 29 CFR 1910.119(j)(3), not section 1910.119(g), which relates to process operator training. Section 1910.119(j)(3) requires the employer to "train each employee involved in maintaining the ongoing integrity of process equipment in an overview of that process and its hazards and in the procedures applicable to the employee's job tasks to assure that the employee can perform the job tasks in a safe manner." Moreover, 29 CFR 1910.119(j)(1)(iii) requires employers to include PRDs in their mechanical integrity program. In light of requirements of sections 1910.119(j)(3) and 1910.119(j)(1)(iii), personnel maintaining PRDs must be trained on the procedures necessary to safely perform that task.

Question 1b: Does section 1910.119(g)(2) require maintenance personnel to have refresher training at least every three years?

Response: No. Section 1910.119(j)(3) does not contain a recurrent training requirement. Thus, maintenance personnel have no obligation with respect to refresher training every three years. Note, however, that if the process, the hazards, or the maintenance employee's job tasks change, the employer would have to provide training in accordance with section 1910.119(j)(3) as described in the response to question l(a).

Question 1c: Do we have to follow original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommendations on training, or can the company mandate a condensed training class?

Response: No. Section 1910.119(j)(3), discussed in the response to questions l(a) and 1(b), does not reference the OEM or condensed training classes. Instead, it requires employers to "train each employee involved in maintaining the on-going integrity of process equipment in an overview of that process and its hazards and in the procedures applicable to the employee's job tasks to assure that the employee can perform the job tasks in a safe manner." Therefore, provided the training content meets the requirements of section 1910.119(j)(3), the employer can determine the means by which the training is delivered.

Scenario 2: The facility installed a new plant with new equipment. In our maintenance division, we have machinists - we machine parts, repair pumps, compressors, turbines and other rotating equipment. We also have pipefitters, welders and electricians. In addition, the OEMs offer 10 to 40 hour initial training classes and refresher classes. Our company wants to condense classes to save money and time.

Question 2a: Do maintenance personnel have to be trained on the new equipment in the new plant?

Response: Yes. Assuming the new plant to which you refer is covered by PSM, per section 1910.119(j)(3), discussed in the responses to question 1, the employer must train maintenance personnel and those maintaining the integrity of process equipment with an overview of the process and its hazards. In addition, the employer must train maintenance personnel and those maintaining the integrity of process equipment on the maintenance procedures applicable to the job tasks.

Question 2b: For the new equipment, do we have to follow OEM recommendations on training or can the company mandate a condensed training class?

Response: No. Section 1910.119(j)(3) does not reference the OEM or condensed training classes. Instead, it requires employers to "train each employee involved in maintaining the ongoing integrity of process equipment in an overview of that process and its hazards and in the procedures applicable to the employee's job tasks to assure that the employee can perform the job tasks in a safe manner." Therefore, provided the training content meets the requirements of section 1910.119(j)(3), the employer can determine the means by which the training is delivered.

Question 2c: Do maintenance personnel need to be involved in the process hazard analysis (PHA)?

Response: Possibly. 29 CFR 1910.119(e)(4) provides that the PHA "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." The section does not specifically require maintenance employee participation in the PHA. However, in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.119(c)(1), the employer's written plan of action regarding employee participation may require participation by maintenance personnel on a facility's PHA teams. As a result, maintenance employees may have to be involved in PHA.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA sets requirements by statute, standards, and regulations. Our letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. From time to time letters are affected when OSHA updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect an interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Chemical Process Safety and Enforcement Initiatives at (202) 693-2341.

Sincerely,



Thomas Galassi, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

cc:
Doug Kalinowski, OSHA Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs
Mary Lynn, OSHA Denver Regional Office
Louis Silva, Utah Labor Commission - Division of Occupational Health and Safety


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents