Customizing an OSHA-compliant PSM system for non-psm facilities

Matt Hula

Matt Hula is a Process Engineering Manager at Anvil Corp

Originally Published on Plant Engineering - 6/27/2023

Process Safety Insights

  • Process safety management (PSM) systems is about continually monitoring and measuring and applying key performance indicators (KPIs) and aggregated safety performance indicators (SPIs).
  • Non-PSM facilities can benefit from having one because they reduce company risk and downtime and increase employee health, morale and promote operational excellence.

 


Large process safety management (PSM)-compliant facilities use the system based on the 14 elements in OSHA’s PSM standard to drive down risk by implementing and maintaining a centralized system.

A methodical and well-planned PSM system detects and eliminates hazards embedded in critical systems, infrastructure, equipment, operating procedures or human error before they turn into catastrophic events.

PSM is about continually monitoring and measuring leading and lagging indicators and applying key performance indicators (KPIs) and aggregated safety performance indicators (SPIs) to ensure the health and quality of the PSM system, especially when modifying or upgrading systems or updating processes and documentation.1

With a robust PSM system in place, automated processing units are regularly monitored and documented for operational issues to prevent an incident from becoming a major event.

Smaller, non-PSM facilities; however, are not regulated by the same industry codes and standards as larger, PSM facilities due to the degree of risk associated with threshold amounts of highly hazardous chemicals. Smaller facilities also may not have the same level of capital, capacity, technologies, processes, systems and organizational structure to build their own PSM system.

Benefits of a PSM system

There are many benefits a PSM can provide to a facility. These include:

  • Power of shared knowledge in a centralized repository (easy access to integrated safety information).
  • Reduced company risk/hazards, liability, insurance and equipment replacement costs.
  • Reduced employee downtime.
  • Decreased employee expenses for worker’s compensation.
  • Increased employee health, safety, security and morale.
  • Increased productivity, profits, quality and operational and equipment reliability.
  • Meets OSHA compliance, which helps reduces scrutiny by government regulators.
  • Protects the environment, employee health, safety and security and surrounding communities.
  • Promotes operational excellence – maintains company reputation, ESG score, investor confidence and stock price.
  • Minimizes risks and liability by identifying layer of protection gaps.
  • Instills a proactive approach to process safety management.
  • Is a cost effective and efficient methodology for identifying non-regulated facility needs.

 

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