Regulation Chemical Refineries

Industry groups want OSHA to maintain exemptions in PSM standard

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Washington – Although several stakeholders have voiced support for OSHA’s efforts to improve its Process Safety Management Standard, some industry associations are urging the agency to maintain current, specific exemptions.

Dozens of comments were submitted during a more than three-month Request for Information period, which concluded March 31 and requested comment on 17 potential rulemaking or enforcement policy changes.

In its comments, the American Composites Manufacturers Association claims flammable liquids at its industry facilities offer lower hazards, and reactives used by composite manufacturers are “not violent.” Such operations should remain exempt from requirements of the PSM standard, ACMA states.

Likewise, the National Propane Gas Association urged OSHA to retain the exemption status for retail facilities, and the International Association of Drilling Contractors suggested retaining the oil and gas drilling and servicing exemption.

The Chemical Safety Board and the International Association of Fire Fighters both voiced support for expanding PSM coverage and requirements for reactivity hazards.

OSHA’s pursuit of an updated PSM standard has been spurred by the 2013 ammonium nitrate fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, TX. Fourteen people were killed, including 12 firefighters responding to the blaze.