Saturday, March 29, 2014

Public Comments on OSHA PSM ANPRM – 03-29-14

This is part of a continuing look at the public comments that have been posted to the docket for the OSHA Process Safety Management program advance notice of proposed rulemaking. Earlier posts in the series include:

There is only one day left in the comment period (Monday) and there were only eleven comments posted to the docket in the last week, including another one from yours truly (from last week’s blog) and one from a private citizen. The comments were submitted by:

Many of the same comments seen in earlier comments have been repeated here. I will just address the new information or new points of views detailed in the current set of responses.

Need for New OSHA PSM Regulations

A comment was made that the problems used in the RFI to justify a possible expansion of the OSHA PSM coverage was a better justification for better enforcement of the current PSM requirements.

Oil and Gas Drilling Exemption

One commentor noted that removing the current oil and gas drilling rig exemption would add an additional 4,000 work sites to the list of facilities that an already overburdened inspection force would not be able to get around to. Another commentor noted that there is no clear definition of what might be included; they suggest that production facilities as defined in API Recommended Practice 80 might form a workable definition. A comment was made that the original exemption was put into place with the understanding that a separate OSHA standard would be developed for these activities; that has not occurred. Another commentor noted that natural gas facilities are regulated under PHMSA pipeline regulations.

LEPC Coordination

A suggestion was made that in addition to LEPC coordination, facilities storing large quantities of hazardous materials be required to submit a Hazardous Materials Management Plan as outlined in NFPA 400. Another suggestion was made that large chemical facilities be required to provide financial support to the local LEPC. A commenter noted that natural gas transmission and distribution facilities are already required to maintain close coordination with local emergency response authorities under 49 CFR 192.615.

Atmospheric Storage Tank Exemption

The use of the NFPA 30 definition of atmospheric storage tanks has been suggested as a way of removing the current confusion related to the OSHA definition. An update of §1910.106, the flammable liquids standard has been suggested. A suggestion was made that there should be a distinction between raw material tanks that feed a process and finished goods tanks that are filled from the process.

Highly Hazardous Chemicals

Expanding the list of Highly Hazardous Chemicals by adding specific chemicals would be a reactive exercise. The suggestion was made to use generic descriptions based upon amount and hazard category in place of trying to list all new HHC.

Certification of Auditors

A commentor noted that lead auditors, whether in-house or third party, should be Certified Process Safety Auditors. Other members of the team that are subject matter experts would not need to be certified.

Management Systems

The suggestion was made that portions of the new ANSI/AIHA Z10 consensus standard on industrial hygiene be included in the management systems language of the PSM standard.

Temporary Workers

While this was not specifically addressed in the RFI one commentor submitted a lengthy paper about the perceived hazards of allowing temporary workers to work in PSM cover areas. This included a suggestion that the PSM standard specifically address increased training requirements for temporary workers.

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