OSHA updates enforcement policy on process safety management

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Washington — OSHA has updated its process safety management enforcement policy for the first time in 30 years.

The agency announced the change in a directive that went into effect Jan. 26. The directive is intended for OSHA inspectors and other personnel, but also provides insight to employers and workers covered under the standard.

Much of the document is in a question-and-answer format, covering subjects such as:

  • Process hazard analysis
  • Operating procedures
  • Training
  • Incident investigations
  • Emergency planning and response
  • Compliance audits

Appendix A in the document is intended to clarify some parts of OSHA’s standard on PSM. Appendix B includes links to letters of interpretation, which formed the basis for the Q&A. Appendix C contains an index of common terms and phrases.

“OSHA promulgated the PSM standard in 1992 in response to the numerous catastrophic chemical manufacturing incidents that occurred worldwide,” the directive states. “Since the promulgation of the standard, numerous questions have been submitted and compliance guidance provided to industry on the application of the standard.”

State plans must notify OSHA of their intent to adopt the directive within 60 days. Otherwise, they must have policies and procedures that are “identical to or different from the federal program.” Either way, state plan adoption must occur within six months.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication