December 9, 2013 PSM RFI Highlights



Changes to PSM Exemptions and Applicability
  • Atmospheric tanks – Currently the 1997 Meer decision interpretation of 1910.119(a)(1)(ii) exempts flammable liquids stored in atmospheric tanks or transferred kept under their boiling point without chilling/refrigeration, even when connected or in proximity to a covered process. OSHA may revise 1910.119(a)(1)(ii)(b) to include flammable liquids in atmospheric tanks within close proximity of or connected to PSM covered processes.
  • Oil and gas – Currently 1910.119(a)(2)(ii) exempts oil and gas well drilling and servicing operations and oil and gas production facilities because OSHA intended to cover these operations under a separate rulemaking. OSHA may conduct economic consideration analysis for these operations, remove the oil & gas well drilling and servicing operations exemption, and reinstate PSM enforcement of oil & gas operations.
  • Retail facility exemption – Currently 29 CFR 1910.119(a) (2)(i) exempts retail facilities but “retail facility” is not defined in the PSM standard. OSHA may modify the retail exemption language to distinguish the PSM definition of retail versus whole sale operations.
  • Reactivity hazards – OSHA may modify the 1992 PSM list (Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.119) for reactive hazards, including mixtures, and other Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHCs) based on several existing approaches from safety and regulatory groups.
  • Appendix A chemicals listed without specific concentrations – OSHA may clarify guidance for definition of “commercial grade,” add applicable concentration ranges for listed chemicals, or implement a “mixture rule” similar to RMP.
Addition or Changes to PSM Program Elements
  • Management System - OSHA may add accountability for stopping unsafe work practices, such as Stop Work Authority and Ultimate Work Authority, based on safety group recommendations.
  • Mechanical Integrity (MI) - OSHA may add “all equipment the employer identifies as critical to process safety-critical equipment” to the MI categories at 1910.119( j).
  • Management of Change (MOC) – OSHA may add requirements to review impacts of organizational change including “changes in management structure, budget cuts, or personnel changes” if they have the ability to affect process safety to the categories in 1910.119(l).
  • Emergency Response Program (ERP) - OSHA may add requirements for coordination with local emergency response authorities, especially for non-responding sites.
  • Compliance Audits – OSHA may add requirements for third party audits, increase frequency of audits, and require a specific timeframe to respond to identified deficiencies.
  • Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practice (RAGAGEP)
    • OSHA is considering addition of a definition for RAGAGEP to the PSM Standard, based on the CCPS’s Guidelines for Mechanical Integrity Systems, and requiring sites to evaluate their practices against updates to applicable RAGAGEP, not just at initial design/installation.

More information about the OSHA PSM updates can be found here: http://www.trinityconsultants.com/Templates/ TrinityConsultants/News/Article.aspx?id=5819.