OSHA PSM Applicability


Introduction-The Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHC's) standard, 29 CFR 1910.119 is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive HHC's from a process. A process is any activity or combination of activities including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling or the on-site movement of HHC's. A process includes any group of vessels which are interconnected and separate vessels which are located such that a HHC could be involved in a potential release.

Application-The standard applies to a process which contains a threshold quantity or greater amount of a toxic or reactive HHC as specified in 1910.119, Appendix A. Also, it applies to 10,000 pounds or greater amounts of flammable liquids and gases and to the process activity of manufacturing explosives and pyrotechnics. "Process" means any activity involving a highly hazardous chemical including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling, or the on-site movement of such chemicals, or combination of these activities. For purposes of this definition, any group of vessels which are interconnected and separate vessels which are located such that a highly hazardous chemical could be involved in a potential release shall be considered a single process.

Exceptions-The standard does not apply to:

Retail facilities A retail facility is defined as a site specific establishment which otherwise would be subject to the PSM Standard, at which more than half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users.

Normally unoccupied remote facilities. "Normally unoccupied remote facility" means a facility which is operated, maintained or serviced by employees who visit the facility only periodically to check its operation and to perform necessary operating or maintenance tasks. No employees are permanently stationed at the facility. Facilities meeting this definition are not contiguous with, and must be geographically remote from all other buildings, processes or persons.

Oil or gas well drilling or servicing activities. Read this interpretation for further explanation.

Hydrocarbon fuels used solely for work place consumption as a fuel are not covered, if such fuels are not part of a process containing another HHC covered by the standard.

Atmospheric tank storage and associated transfer of flammable liquids which are kept below their normal boiling point without benefit of chilling or refrigeration are not covered by the PSM standard unless the atmospheric tank is connected to a process or is sited in close proximity to a covered process such that an incident in a covered process could involve the atmospheric tank. "Atmospheric tank" means a storage tank which has been designed to operate at pressures from atmospheric through 0.5 p.s.i.g. (pounds per square inch gauge, 3.45 Kpa).

Chemicals Regulated Under RMP and PSM.

OSHA's PSM web-site

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