September 29, 2022

OSHA Eyes Potential Changes to PSM Standard

OSHA is considering changes to the scope and provisions of its process safety management (PSM) standard, the agency announced recently via press release and Federal Register notice. Potential changes to the scope of the standard include resuming enforcement for oil and gas production facilities; expanding requirements for reactive chemical hazards; updating the standard’s list of highly hazardous chemicals; and expanding the scope of the standard to include oil- and gas-well drilling and servicing. Changes to provisions of the PSM standard could strengthen employee participation, require safer technology and alternatives analysis, and cover the mechanical integrity of critical equipment. OSHA is also considering revisions that would require root cause analysis and coordination of emergency planning with local emergency response authorities. The agency is also considering changes that would require the development of written procedures for all elements specified in the PSM standard.

OSHA plans to provide an overview of its PSM rulemaking activities during a virtual stakeholder meeting on Oct. 12. Stakeholders and the public can register to participate in or attend the meeting on OSHA’s website. The agency will hear verbal comments during the virtual meeting and will accept written comments related to its potential changes to the PSM standard until Nov. 14. Instructions for commenting can be found in the Federal Register.

OSHA’s PSM standard has not been updated since it was published in 1992. More information on the agency’s PSM rulemaking efforts is available on the agency’s website.

Related: Read “Process Safety Management and the IH” from the October 2021 issue of The Synergist.