Process Safety Management

Process safety management (PSM) establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures, and management practices to mitigate the unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals. 

Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals

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What are the hazards associated with the process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals?

There is a potential for an accidental release any time highly hazardous chemicals are not properly controlled, creating the possibility of disaster resulting in employee fatalities and serious injuries, as well as extensive property damage.

What can I do to protect myself?

Employees should ensure that they have been informed about any chemical processes in their work area(s) and know about procedures associated with changes to these processes. Employers are required to ensure that employees have been trained about the health and physical hazards of chemicals in their work areas and about any processes involving any high hazardous chemicals.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

This example hazard communication program, emergency action plan and fire prevention plan, respiratory protection program and PPE hazard assessment can assist the employer with their hazard communication, emergency planning and identifying the appropriate personal protective equipment required in the workplace.

Training and Outreach Services

Presentations on hazard communication, exit routes, emergency action and fire prevention plans, respiratory protection and personal protective equipment (general industry and construction) can assist employers in training their staff.  These presentations should be modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards.

In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. 

Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). 

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

Other relevant resources can be found on the A-Z topics pages for exits and exit routes, hazard communication, personal protective equipmentHAZWOPER, emergency action plans, ammonia/ammonia refrigeration, respiratory protection and fire prevention plans

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.


Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards applicable to process safety management in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry


Additional OSH standards that pertain to process safety management include the following:

General Industry


Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Compliance Documents

Industry Guides

Fact Sheets

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to or by calling 919-707-7876.