The US-American Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has
oublished a guidance document to help sme employers comply with the Process
Safety Management standard. PSM is critically important to facilities that
store highly hazardous chemicals. Implementing the required safety programs
helps prevent fires, explosions, large chemical spills, toxic gas releases,
runaway chemical reactions, and other major incidents.
Although all elements of the PSM standard apply to a PSM-covered small
business, the following elements of the standard are most relevant to hazards
associated with small businesses.
- Process Safety Information (PSI)
- Process Hazards Analysis (PHA)
- Mechanical Integrity (MI)
- Compliance Audits
PSM is critically important to small businesses with highly hazardous
chemicals. Implementing the required safety programs help prevent fires,
explosions, large chemical spills, toxic gas releases, runaway chemical
reactions, and other major incidents. Compliance with the PSM standard will
help ensure that employees, contractors, facility visitors, and emergency
responders are safe from these hazards. Compliance will also benefit employers
by minimizing damage to facility equipment and neighboring structures in the
event of an HHC release.
Managing HHCs is required by OSHA standards and a good business practice.3
Catastrophic HHC release events continue to occur among smaller companies. One
study estimates that employers with 1-25 employees are 47 times more likely to
have a release and 17 times more likely to suffer an injury, per employee, than
facilities with 1500 or more employees.
In addition to presenting risk to workers these companies are often located in
populated areas, and can pose a risk to the surrounding population and
Many small companies have the potential to realize cost efficiencies and
savings through improved safety practices, such as adopting more effective work
practices, inventory controls, storage practices, and better handling, use and
disposal procedures, and instituting targeted PSM training to improve and
ensure employee competence. Where possible and practical, finding alternative
materials will help reduce hazards and associated risks. The approaches in this
guidance document can help small businesses meet PSM requirements without
creating unnecessary or additional resource burdens, and will give both
employees and employers a better understanding of the standard.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration