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

Example process safety management plan, hazardous chemical emergency response plan, hazard communication program, respirator program, HAZWOPER Safety and Health Program, emergency action plan (Construction and General Industry), fire prevention plan (Construction and General Industry) and PPE and hazard analysis can be downloaded and customized to fit an individual workplace. Other example safety and health programs are available for employers to download and adapt to their specific conditions. 

In addition, the workplace self-inspection checklist [short (General Industry/Construction) and long (General Industry/Construction)] includes a discussion of exits and exit routes and can be adapted for use in the workplace. 

Training and Outreach Services

These presentation on hazard communication, respiratory protection and personal protective equipment, and exit routes, emergency action and fire prevention plans can assist employers in training their staff.  These presentations should be modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards. Other example presentations are available along with pre-recorded webinars which can be accessed at any time. 

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). 

Safety and Health Topics

Other relevant resources can be found on the safety and health topic pages for exits and exit routes, hazard communication, personal protective equipmentHAZWOPER, emergency action plans, ammonia/ammonia refrigeration, respiratory protection, emergency response, hierarchy of controls 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

Inquiries about workplace safety and health requirements can be submitted to Ask OSH through the online form, by email to, or by phone at 919-707-7876.