What is process safety management (PSM)?

Process safety management is an analytical tool that is used to prevent any type of release of substances that are considered to be ‘highly hazardous chemicals’ by either the EPA or OSHA. This process is designed to help reduce the frequency (and severity) of chemical spills. Any facility that creates, ships, or uses any type of hazardous chemicals will want to make sure they are following the process safety management concepts properly.

Elements of the Process Safety Management System

There are 14 main elements associated with this system that need to be taught. These points should be well-known by safety professionals, and others working in the facility should also be aware of them. The elements are as follows:

  • Process Safety Information
  • Process Hazard Analysis
  • Operating Procedures
  • Training
  • Contractors
  • Mechanical Integrity
  • Hot Work
  • Management of Change
  • Incident Investigation
  • Compliance Audits
  • Trade Secrets
  • Employee Participation
  • Pre-Startup Safety Review
  • Emergency Planning and Response

Training for the Process Safety Management

This is a very in depth program that has a lot of different components to it. Those who will be following it need to take the time to conduct proper training for everyone involved. Fortunately, there is a lot of documentation available from OSHA and other organizations that can help companies get started with this type of training.

Compliance Requirements

Since this process is mandated by OSHA and the EPA, many companies are required to follow it. If it isn’t followed properly, fines and other penalties can be issued against them. Companies looking to remain in compliance with these regulations will need to be aware of the Highly Hazardous Chemicals regulation, which is Title 29 of CFR Section 1910.119. There are other requirements from OSHA and the EPA as well, all of which should be covered in any program a company runes related to process safety management.


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