February 27, 2014 | Mark Paradies

OSHA Requests Comments on Changes to the Process Safety Management Regulation

Here’s a link to the Federal Register request for comments:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-09/pdf/2013-29197.pdf

Interestingly, OSHA says:

While the PSM standard has been effective in improving process safety in the United States and protecting workers from many of the hazards associated with uncontrolled releases of highly hazardous chemicals, major incidents have continued to occur.

It then goes on to list some of the many serious process safety accidents that have occurred after the regulation had plenty of time to be effective.

What does it mean when a regulation is put in place to stop accidents and the accidents continue? Either the regulation is ineffective or the enforcement is ineffective.

In my review of the regulation and comparing it to Admiral Rickover’s successful process (nuclear) safety program, I concluded that there are many gaping holes in the regulation that, even if enforcement was effective, would have allowed the accidents mentioned to occur.

However, I believe that it is doubtful that OSHA will adopt the tough stance that Rickover required to ensure safe operations of the Navy’s nuclear power plants.

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To learn more about Admiral Rickover’s approach to process safety, see the links provided here:

http://www.taproot.com/?s=rickover

Make sure that you scroll down because there are many interesting articles and videos.

Then return here to leave your comments about your concerns/recommendations about the revision of the OSHA Process Safety Management standard.

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