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PSM - Process Safety Management

3 Parts to Process Safety

Process Safety Management (PSM) meet the requirements of OSHA Standard Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Substances.

 Process Safety Information is the technical information on the process and equipment in the system. This information allows for accurate analysis.

Process Hazard Analysis and maintaining information on the system for operator training and reference.

Free Guest Material

  Elements of Process Safety Management
  PSM - Introduction Element
  PSM - Employee Involvement



PSM Program Required Elements
 Employee Participation
 Process Hazard Analysis
 Process Safety Information
 Operating Procedures
 Pre-Startup Review
 Hot Work
 Mechanical Integrity
 Emergency Planning
 Management of Change
 Planned Maintenance
 Incident Investigation

Although OSHA believes process safety management will have a positive effect on the safety of employees and will offer other potential benefits to employers, such as increased productivity, smaller businesses that may have limited resources to them at this time, might consider alternative avenues of decreasing the risks associated with highly hazardous chemicals at their workplaces. One method that might be considered is reducing inventory of the highly hazardous chemical. This reduction in inventory will result in reducing the risk or potential for a catastrophic incident. Also, employers, including small employers, may establish more efficient inventory control by reducing, to below the established threshold, the quantities of highly hazardous chemicals onsite. This reduction can be accomplished by ordering smaller shipments and maintaining the minimum inventory necessary for efficient and safe operation. When reduced inventory is not feasible, the employer might consider dispersing inventory to several locations onsite. Dispersing storage into locations so that a release in one location will not cause a release in another location is also a practical way to reduce the risk or potential for catastrophic incidents.

The various lines of defense that have been incorporated into the design and operation of the process to prevent or mitigate the release of hazardous chemicals need to be evaluated and strengthened to ensure their effectiveness at each level. Process safety management is the proactive identification, evaluation and mitigation or prevention of chemical releases that could occur as a result of failures in processes, procedures, or equipment.

The process safety management standard targets highly hazardous chemicals that have the potential to cause a catastrophic incident. The purpose of the standard as a whole is to aid employers in their efforts to prevent or mitigate episodic chemical releases that could lead to a catastrophe in the workplace and possibly in the surrounding community.

To control these types of hazards, employers need to develop the necessary expertise, experience, judgment, and initiative within their work force to properly implement and maintain an effective process safety management program as envisioned in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard.

Process Safety Management

Unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals have been reported for many years in various industries that use chemicals with such properties. Regardless of the industry that uses these highly hazardous chemicals, there is a potential for an accidental release any time they are not properly controlled, creating the possibility of disaster. An effective Process Safety Management program can help prevent releases and prepare for emergency response in the event of a chemical release.

To help ensure safe and healthful workplaces, OSHA has issued the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard which contains requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals.

Process Safety Management is intended to prevent an incident like the 1984 Bhopal Disaster. A process is any activity or combination of activities including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling or the on-site movement of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHCs). A process includes any group of vessels which are interconnected or separate and contain HHC's which could be involved in a potential release. A process safety management incident is the "Unexpected release of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals. Incidents continue to occur in various industries that use highly hazardous chemicals which exhibit toxic, reactive, flammable, or even explosive properties, or may exhibit a combination of these properties. Regardless of the industry that uses these highly hazardous chemicals, there is a potential for an accidental release any time they are not properly controlled by a properly designed Process Safety Management Program. This, in turn, creates the possibility of disaster.

A great many industrial facilities must comply with OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations as well as the quite similar United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA) Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations. The Center for Chemical Process Safety Management (CCPS) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) has published a widely used book that explains various methods for identifying hazards in industrial facilities and quantifying their potential severity.

Hazardous chemical releases pose a significant threat to workers. The key provision of process safety management (PSM) is process hazard analysis (PHA), a careful review of what could go wrong and what safeguards must be implemented to prevent releases of hazardous chemicals. The following references help begin a PHA by recognizing process hazards.


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