Friday, April 9, 2010

Process Safety Management

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Although the tragic incident at a Washington refinery brings to light the dangers of the refinery industry, it also brings to light the need to safely manage highly hazardous chemicals no matter where they are being used.

According to OSHA the unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals have been reported for many years in various industries that use chemicals with such properties. Regardless of the industry that uses these highly hazardous chemicals, there is a potential for an accidental release any time they are not properly controlled, creating the possibility of disaster.

Beside the petroleum industry there are a good deal of companies that do use highly hazardous chemicals, one such is ammonia for refrigeration or possible chlorine for water treatment, just to name a few.

If your business does use, store or manufacture certain highly hazardous chemicals and the amount is above the listed threshold in WAC 296-67 you are covered under this standard.
With that said, if you are interested to see if your company may be covered under the Process Safety Management standard, check out the link for the list of chemicals and thresholds at the following link:

For further information you can also look at WAC 296-67 for the full Washington State regulations or OSHA assistance link at:

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