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New OSHA PSM guide focuses on petroleum refineries

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Washington – OSHA has published a guide intended to help oil refineries comply with the agency’s Process Safety Management Standard (1910.119).

Since OSHA issued the standard in 1992, no other industry sector has experienced as many fatal or catastrophic incidents related to the release of highly hazardous chemicals as the petroleum refining industry, the guide states.

In response to the incidents, OSHA in 2007 launched a National Emphasis Program, designed to check on refinery employers’ compliance with the PSM Standard. Violations most commonly found were related to process safety information, process hazards analysis, operating procedures, mechanical integrity and management of change.

In the guide, OSHA makes recommendations for employers to review their PSM programs to ensure violations are not present, and suggests ways to avoid specific violations within each PSM area.

OSHA previously issued PSM guides for explosives and pyrotechnics manufacturing, small businesses, and storage facilities.

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