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SAFETY MANAGEMENT
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OSHA Publishes New PSM Guidance for Oil Refineries
A new OSHA guidance document (PDF) is intended to help employers at oil refineries comply with the agency’s process safety management (PSM) standard. The document highlights areas in which OSHA issued the most citations during its Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program, which began in 2007. Each section of the document describes a different area OSHA has identified as a common instance of non-compliance with its PSM standard. These areas include process safety information, process hazards analysis, operating procedures, mechanical integrity, and management of change. The agency urges refineries to review these areas to ensure that these instances of non-compliance do not exist in their own PSM programs.
“Since the PSM standard was promulgated by OSHA in 1992, no other industry sector has had as many fatal or catastrophic incidents related to the release of highly hazardous chemicals as the petroleum refining industry,” OSHA’s document reads.
The agency stresses the importance of PSM to facilities that store highly hazardous chemicals and urges those facilities to implement the required safety programs to help prevent fires, explosions, and large chemical spills.

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