1.1 Occupational Safety and Health Administration& Process Safety Management The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.The Occupational Safety and Health Act allows OSHA to issue workplace health and safety regulations. These regulations include limits on chemical exposure, employee access to information, requirements for the use of personal protective equipment, and requirements for safety procedures. OSHA is responsible for enforcing its standards on regulated entities. The agency sends Compliance Safety and Health Officers to work sites, where they carry out inspections and assess fines for regulatory violations. Inspections are planned for work sites in particularly hazardous industries. Inspections can also result in response to workplace incidents, worker complaints or referrals by other individuals. In certain industrial processes, standards do exist for preventing employee exposure to certain specific toxic substances. They focus on routine and daily exposure emergencies, such as spills, and precautions to prevent large accidental releases. Process safety management is an analytical tool focused on preventing releases of any substance defined as a "highly hazardous chemicals" by the EPA or OSHA.Process safety management is a regulation, promulgated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A process is any activity or combination of activities including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling or the on-site movement of highly hazardous chemicals (HHCs) as defined by OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency. OSHA published the final rule "Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals" on 24 February 1992. This standard is performing general requirements for the management of hazardous chemicals. Process safety management (PSM) was developed after the Bhopal accident (1985), to prevent similar accidents. It is recognized by industry and the government as an excellent regulation that will reduce the number and magnitude of accidents - if it is understood and practiced as intended. The PSM standard has 14 major sections:
1. Employee participation
2. Process safety information
3. Process hazard analysis
4. Operating procedures
7. Pre-startup safety
9. Mechanical integrity
10. Hot work permits
11. Management of change
12. Incident investigations
13. Emergency planning and response
14. Audits and trade secrets.
An effective process safety management requires a systematic approach to evaluating the whole process. Employee participation requires active employee participation in all the major elements of PSM. Employers must develop and document a plan of action to specify this participation. Process safety information is compiled and made available to all employees to facilitate the understanding and identification of hazards. This information includes block flow diagrams or process flow diagrams, process chemistry, and process limitations, such as temperatures, pressures, flows, and compositions. Consequences of process deviations are also required. This process safety information is needed before training, process hazards analysis, management of change, and accident investigations.
Process hazard analysis (PHA) must be performed by a team of experts, including engineers, chemists, operators, industrial hygienists, and other appropriate and experienced specialists. The PHA needs to include a method that fits the complexity of the process, a hazards and operability (HAZOP) study for a complex process, and for less complex processes a less rigorous process, such as what-if scenarios, checklists, failure mode and effects analysis, or fault trees. Employers must ensure that...
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