What is Process Safety Management (PSM)?

Today we look at the term Process Safety Management (PSM), which many of our clients utilize. PSM came about due to an OSHA regulation that requires businesses to properly manage hazardous chemicals.

The goal of PSM is to prevent the unexpected release of reactive, toxic, or flammable liquids and gases that can cause large disasters. The difference of PSM and Occupational Safety Management is the size of the failure they each try to prevent. The former focuses on large scale disasters such as explosions (low probability, but severe risk), whereas the latter puts focus on small scale incidents like slips, trips, and falls (high probability, but lower risk). PSM is an important tool in the prevention of catastrophic events.

PSM includes 14 basic elements:

  • Process safety information
  • Process hazard analysis
  • Operating procedures
  • Hot work permitting
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Mechanical integrity
  • Pre-startup safety reviews
  • Training management
  • Management of change
  • Incident investigation
  • Contractor safety management
  • Compliance audits
  • Employee involvement
  • Trade secrets