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.
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 equipment, HAZWOPER, emergency action plans, ammonia/ammonia refrigeration, respiratory protection and fire prevention plans.
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.
29 CFR 1910.119 - general industry
29 CFR 1926.64 - construction
Additional OSH standards that pertain to process safety management include the following:
29 CFR 1910.38 - emergency action plans
29 CFR 1910.120 - HAZWOPER, general industry
29 CFR 1910 Subpart I - personal protective equipment
29 CFR 1910.1200 - hazard communication
29 CFR 1926.65 - HAZWOPER, construction
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 Directive: CPL 02-02-045, Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals - Compliance Guidelines and Enforcement Procedures, establishes enforcement policy and provides an explanation of the standard to ensure uniform enforcement.
- Compliance Directive: CPL 03-00-21, Process Safety Management (PSM) Covered Facilities, describes a National Emphasis Program for inspecting all facilities with highly hazardous chemicals in amounts at or above the threshold quantities listed in 29 CFR 1910.119 - process safety management of highly hazardous materials.
- Industry Guide 48 - OSHA Construction Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training provides requirements for standards related to process safety management.
- Industry Guide 49 - OSHA General Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training provides requirements for standards related to process safety management.
- NCDOL Investigates Hazardous Chemical Release, provides the investigation process for accidents involving the unexpected release of highly hazardous chemicals.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 919-707-7876.