- Process and Chemical Safety
- The standard requires that the facility document
critical process and chemical safety information such as
toxicities, PEL's, physical properties, chemical
stability, and effects of mixing.
- Process Technology
- Companies are required to develop critical process
technology information such as process chemistry, safe
deviation consequences, and maximum safe inventories.
- Equipment and Control
System Design Basis
- Each covered process must develop a complete
equipment and control system design basis,
including such information as
applicable standards, materials of construction, relief
design, control system set points, alarm points,
interlock logic, and, for newer processes,
heat and material balances.
These must be developed as part of the design for new
units, or must be recreated for existing units.
- Mechanical Integrity
- Companies are required to ensure that critical
safety systems do not deteriorate with time or during
modification or construction activities.
Procedures must also be developed that define the
inspection methods and intervals, repair and replacement
routines, and equipment integrity criteria for each covered
piece of equipment.
- Standard Operating
- Processes handling materials with catastrophic
potential must be run by knowledgeable personnel
using the best methods and procedures. In order to ensure
that this happens, the PSM standard requires that
responses to all anticipatable operating
situations be standardized, reviewed
for deficiencies, documented as
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),
and used by all operations personnel.
- Emergency Response Procedures
- Because facilities exceeding the PSM thresholds have
the potential to effect entire communities, the
development of comprehensive emergency response procedures
for the facility, the local emergency response agencies, and
the community is vital.
- In the past decade, the failure of some
companies to ensure that contractor personnel were fully
aware of process hazards and procedures has contributed to
the deaths of dozens of employees and the loss of millions of
dollars in equipment and lost production. For companies
utilizing contract personnel, explicit procedures are
required to ensure that contract personnel are no less
capable than the company's employees.
- Employee Participation
- One of the unfortunate lessons learned from
many chemical plant disasters is that operating and
maintenance personnel were often aware of problems, but
were not able to get this information into the hands of
managers with the authority to correct the situation.
In order to ensure that this does not happen in the future,
covered facilities are required to develop effective
procedures to allow the participation of employees at all
levels in the design, review, and operation of the facility.
- Process Hazard Analysis
- Because of the potential loss of life and damage
to the environment associated with mishaps at covered
facilities, the PSM standard requires that facilities
conduct formal reviews to determine What Can Go
Wrong, and to ensure that the safety systems and
procedures are adequate to cope with the situation.
- PreStartup Safety
- Many catastrophic incidents have been associated
with units that were starting up after an extended shutdown
or after modifications. In many cases, after incident
investigations found that small changes made during the
shutdown had major effects on the operation of the unit,
causing a major incident. The PSSR element of the PSM
standard requires that covered facilities develop procedures
to ensure that changes made during shutdowns or
modifications do not compromise the effectiveness of the
- Management of
- In several recent catastrophes, a series of small,
seemingly unrelated, changes to equipment and controls
combined in unforeseen ways to produce devastating effects.
As a result, PSM facilities are required to establish
procedures to ensure that changes to the process, equipment,
control systems, and procedures do not occur without an
in-depth analysis of potential adverse effects.
- Incident Investigations
- Because small incidents often carry the potential
to become catastrophes, the PSM standard requires that all
incidents be reviewed for release potential, and those
with a significant release potential be investigated to
determine the cause and means of prevention.