Process Hazard Analysis

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At the very end of 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) citations against an employer that allegedly failed to timely resolve open findings and recommendations from Process Hazard Analysis (PHA). The 2008 citation related to multiple PHAs that occurred over a decade (with the last being

The United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC. (Photo by: Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images)

On March 14, 2016, Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed changes to the RMP Rule . On December 21, 2016, the EPA disclosed its changes via a Pre-Publication Copy.

In the proposed rule, the EPA essentially agreed that the scope and trigger for post incident investigation was not universally understood or applied. The final rule

Process safety information (“PSI”) is the foundation on which the rest of the PSM and RMP elements are built. Process safety information is that information that is needed to make sound safety decisions and it includes descriptions of the hazardous chemicals, the technology of the process, and the equipment in the process. Both

Both PSM and RMP require that the owner or operator have a system in place to promptly address the team’s PHA findings and recommendations to assure they are resolved in a timely matter. See 29 CFR 1910.119(e)(5) and 40 CFR 68.67(e). In accordance with Pre-startup review requirements, these PHA recommendations must be resolved or implemented

A PHA team must have the following expertise:

  • engineering and process operations;
  • experience and knowledge specific to the process being evaluated; and
  • a facilitator (knowledgeable in the specific PHA methodology being used)

Employers must have a written plan to include employees and their representatives on the conduct and development of PHAs. 29 CFR 1910.119(c) and