It’s Time to Prepare for an OSHA PSM Inspection

Companies who are required to comply with OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard (1910:119) should be on high alert now that inspectors are being encouraged to complete more time-consuming, complex investigations.

The reason? OSHA’s new enforcement weighting system. Prior to this year, OSHA inspectors were measured on one primary metric: the number of inspections they completed. Logically, under this system OSHA inspectors were less likely to spend the time on a complicated and lengthy inspection, when they could complete several more straightforward inspections in the same period of time.

That’s now changing. Under OSHA’s new system each inspection is given a weighting, using a new measure called an Enforcement Unit (EU). Process safety management (PSM) inspections are now being given more weight than nearly all other types of inspections.… Read more...

OSHA safety alliance, New Brunswick train derailment, Energy Institute PSM guidelines, and more on EHS This Week.

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • OSHA safety alliance
  • New Brunswick train derailment
  • Energy Institute PSM guidelines, and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

[audio: 2014/01/EHSTW013114.mp3]…

Lessons in EHS History: OSHA’s Origins and 2014 Regulatory Outlook

As we toast to a Happy New Year, many of us will turn our thoughts to our resolutions for 2014. Typically the resolutions that most people make are related to personal goals: workout more frequently or spend more time with family, for example. But what kinds of resolutions might you make in your workplace? After all, estimates show that the average full-time American employee spends anywhere from 1,700 to 2,000+ hours at work each year.

You may want to look at OSHA’s “resolutions” for the upcoming year, to help guide your own workplace priorities. Not too long ago OSHA released its Fall 2013 regulatory agenda, which details the agency’s plans for new and revised regulations. In the words of the agency itself, “It is vital for an organization to know its past in order to successfully move itself forward into the future.” Let’s take a look at OSHA’s past, … Read more...

CSB’s Recommendations on PSM Standard and Management of Change

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) took quite a stand recently against OSHA, criticizing the federal agency for failing to implement several key recommendations they have made over the last decade. At the public meeting held last month on July 25 in Washington, the CSB officially deemed OSHA’s response “unacceptable.” One of the seven long-standing recommendations that was up for discussion concerns a revision to the process safety management (PSM) standard, specifically the section that refers to management of change: 29 CFR 1910.119(1).

The CSB’s Recommendation
The official recommendation, made over six years ago on March 20, 2007, reads as follows:

Amend the OSHA PSM standard to require that a management of change (MOC) review be conducted for organizational changes that may impact process safety including:

a) Major organizational changes such as mergers, acquisitions, or reorganizations;
b) Personnel changes, including changes in staffing levels or staff experience; and
c) Policy