Search form

OSHA Issues Chemical Process Safety Management Reports for Small Businesses and Storage Facilities

  • May 17, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued two reports on the safe management of hazards by small businesses and storage facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals in business processes.

In 1994, OSHA outlined the requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals in its Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHC) standard (29 CFR 1910.119). OSHA said the standard is intended to help prevent or minimize unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases associated with these processes. The agency said the standard emphasizes the establishment of a “comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures, and best management practices.”

In its small businesses report, OSHA said, “Catastrophic HHC release events continue to occur among smaller companies.” It said one study estimated 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 1,500 or more employees. It said that the release of highly hazardous chemicals not only risks worker safety, but the safety of surrounding populations and structures because small businesses often are located in populated areas.

In its report for storage facilities, OSHA said that, between 1997 and 2013, “numerous” incidents at storage facilities have caused serious injuries and fatalities to employees. It said storage facilities typically have considerably less complex process safety issues than facilities with large chemical manufacturing operations, which may make compliance easier and less costly.

The reports spell out how the standard includes a compilation of process safety information, followed by a process hazard analysis (PHA). The analysis includes “a careful and thorough review of what could go wrong and what safeguards must be implemented to prevent releases of highly hazardous chemicals.”

The standard also mandates development of written operating procedures, completion of relevant employee training, encouraging and ensuring employee participation, according to a written plan, pre-startup safety reviews, evaluation of the mechanical integrity of critical equipment, contractor requirements, and a written management of change process. It also requires a permit system for “hot work,” investigation of incidents involving releases of covered chemicals or “near-misses,” emergency action plans, compliance audits at least every three years, and allows for trade secret protection as long as the relevant information remains available to applicable parties.

Please contact your Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss these developments and your specific organizational needs.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

May 14, 2018

Georgia Bans Hand-Held Devices While Driving

May 14, 2018

Georgia has become one of 16 states in the country that bans the use of hand-held devices while driving. Governor Nathan Deal signed “Hands-Free Georgia Act” (House Bill 673) into law on May 2, 2018. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2018. The Act makes it illegal for drivers to “physically hold or support, with any part of his or... Read More

April 24, 2018

Iowa Amends Tough Drug Testing Law to Lower Standard for Positive Alcohol Tests

April 24, 2018

Beginning July 1, 2018, private employers in Iowa may take action based on an employee’s alcohol test result of .02 grams of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath. The lower standard was enacted under a 2018 amendment to the Iowa drug testing law (Iowa Code Section 730.5). Prior to the amendment, employers could not take action... Read More

February 21, 2018

Maine Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Drug Testing, Disciplinary Consequences Imposed by Employers

February 21, 2018

A provision of Maine’s recreational marijuana law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. This law effectively prevents Maine employers from testing for marijuana for pre-employment purposes. The law also affects employers who employ employees subject to federal... Read More

Related Practices