OSHA Process Safety Management and EPA Risk Management Plans
OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM)
The OSHA standard “Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals” is more commonly referred to as “PSM”. The standard was developed to give requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals to help assure safe and healthful workplaces. The PSM contains fourteen elements, which require a variety of effort to put together depending on the element. Risk Management Professionals is dedicated to work with facility staff to have a comprehensive plan. Its engineers have extensive expertise in the applicable regulations and constructing an effective and viable program.
EPA Risk Management Plans (RMP)
The EPA’s “Risk Management Program for Chemical Accidental Release Prevention” program is more commonly referred to as “RMP”. The goal of this regulation is to protect workers and the public from the effects of an accidental release of highly hazardous chemicals. Risk Management Professionals has spent decades working with facilities throughout the United States developing and maintaining compliant RMP Programs. Risk Management Professionals’ exposure to a large spectrum of industrial applications allows the introduction of lessons learned and industry insights to be folded into the RMP/PSM Programs. This allows for the most efficient and user friendly application of the regulations.
California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Programs
Facilities in California are subject to the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program. The intent was to “provide a program for the prevention of accidental releases of regulated substances adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to the Clean Air Act”. This regulation requires facilities that handle regulated substances in quantities that exceed the listed threshold quantity to prepare and submit a CalARP Program. Please see the Commonly Regulated Chemicals’ Threshold Quantities Table for additional information.
Although in many ways an extension of the Federal EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) Program, the threshold quantities for the CalARP regulated substances are lower. Additionally, CalARP covers more chemicals than the Federal EPA’s RMP regulation. Therefore facilities that are not required to comply with the Federal EPA’s RMP may still be required to develop a CalARP Program upon request of the local Administering Agency.
Risk Management Professionals has been developing, updating, auditing and assisting with onsite implementation of the CalARP Program since its inception in 1999. This has provided the company with valuable insights into the expectations that the various regulators throughout the state have for each industry-specific CalARP Program.
Nevada Chemical Accident Prevention Program (CAPP)
In the state of Nevada, the implementation of NRS 459.380 in 1991 led to the Nevada Chemical Accident Prevention Program (CAPP) by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). The intent is to:
- Protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of Nevada from the effects of the improper handling of hazardous chemicals at the point where they are produced, used or stored in Nevada or where explosives are manufactured for sale;
- Ensure that employees of the State of Nevada who are required to work with hazardous chemicals or explosives are guaranteed a safe and healthful working environment;
- Protect Nevada’s natural resources by preventing and mitigating accidental or unexpected releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment; and
- Ensure the safe and adequate handling of hazardous chemicals produced, used, stored or handled; and explosives that are manufactured for sale in Nevada.
Similar to the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program, the threshold quantities for the CAPP-regulated substances are lower than those through the Federal agencies. Therefore, facilities that are not required to comply with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Risk Management Plan (RMP) may still be required to comply with CAPP upon request. The Commonly Regulated Chemicals’ Threshold Quantities Table details common chemical thresholds to determine CAPP applicability.
Risk Management Professionals has helped many clients develop, update, audit and implementation of CAPP and has established fundamental working relationships with CAPP Regulators. In addition, Risk Management Professionals has insights on how to coordinate and involve the regulators as required by regulations and best practices.
General Duty Clause Audits
The general duty provisions are used in inspections only where the standards applicable to a particular hazard cannot be identified. If a hazard is recognized in part by a process that is not covered by a standard, it is eligible to be cited under the General Duty Clause. The goal of this regulation is contingent on the agency enforcing it. Both OSHA and the EPA have relevant recommendations for the general duty clause. The General Duty Clause of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act states:
- 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)1: Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”
- 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)2: Each employer shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this act.
- 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(b): Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.
Risk Management Professional’s exposure to a large variety of industrial applications allows the capability to introduce the experience and industry insights to be included in a General Duty Audit.
Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS)
As an extension to Risk Management Professionals’ widespread experience in the refining industry, the company has provided specialty services for offshore facilities in order to address their specific needs. In September 2010, offshore facilities were provided with a one-year implementation deadline by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE, formally the Minerals Management Service, or MMS) to implement a variation of API RP 75: SEMP as part of their Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS). Risk Management Professionals is well qualified to implement SEMS or conduct the necessary third party audits.
Upon the formal dissolution of BOEMRE/MMS, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) was created in October 2011 to oversee the implementation and enforcement of SEMS. The final rule for SEMS II was entered into the Federal Register in April 2013.
Risk Management Professionals has developed and assisted in the execution of safety management programs and detailed assessments in accordance with the SEMS standard. Risk Management Professionals has supported its clients with small and large scale changes to process, operations, or personnel, as well as platform startup, and presented these efforts to effectively communicate the safety and environmental issues at hand, and a plan of action for resolution.