Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals - Part 2

By Jerry Lacatena

Further to Part 1, this brief article continues highlighting Process Safety Management (PSM) requirements to minimize the possibility of unexpected or accidental releases of toxic, reactive, or hazardous chemicals listed in the OSHA PSM standard 1910.119, and to prevent potential disasters from occurring. It focuses on the elements of PSM, and information is largely obtained from the source documentation. Refer to OSHA 1910.119 for details. This subject is also covered under the US Clean Air Act amendments enacted in 1990.

The basic elements that the OSHA standard requires employers to do are indicated below:

Companies must compile written safety information before conducting process hazards analysis (PHA). This includes information on the chemical hazards, process/technology and equipment, as described below.

Information on the hazards of the highly hazardous chemicals used in the process typically consists of the following:

Information on the technology of the process typically includes the following:

Where the original technical information no longer exists, such information may be developed in conjunction with the PHA in sufficient detail to support the analysis.

Information on the equipment in the process typically includes the following:

The company must document that equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. The above process safety information provides the basis for identifying and understanding the hazards of a process, and may be necessary for complying with other provisions of PSM, such as management of change and incident investigations.

Additional information on this subject will follow in a subsequent article.