CHAPTER 22Process Safety Management


The process safety management (PSM) of highly hazardous chemicals (HHCs) standard, 29 CFR 1910.119 (U.S. Department of Labor 1992b), is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive highly hazardous chemicals from a process. A process in this context is any activity or combination of activities, including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling, or the onsite movement of highly hazardous chemicals.

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce you to process safety management, including the background that led to specific public laws, definitions applicable to this unique area, and requirements for process safety management, both in the United States and in Canada. This is a fascinating new area for both the safety or system safety professional and the process industry practitioner.

Probably the most important reason for having focus on PSM is that economies of scale dictate increasingly larger processing and manufacturing facilities and therefore, the opportunity for larger disasters.

Much of the content of this chapter is based on an OSHA pamphlet (U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Department 1993) and the System Safety Analysis Handbook (Stephans and Talso 1997).


A host of worldwide major accidents (a chemical explosion in Texas City, Texas, in 1947 that killed 581 and injured about 3,500; the leak of methyl isocyanate gas in Bhopal, India, ...

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