Update to OSHA’s PSM Regulation. Part 7: Reactive Chemical Hazards
The United States Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing to update its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. This post is the sixth in a series in which we discuss some of the proposed changes. OSHA’s proposal document is Process Safety Management (PSM): Stakeholder Meeting. (Note that the date of the meeting has been changed as described here.)
Reactive Chemical Hazards
The item we consider in this post is:
Expanding PSM coverage and requirements for reactive chemical
OSHA addresses reactive chemical hazards in many of its standards, as shown in their document Chemical Reactivity Hazards and Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances.
Chemical Safety Board
Many of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigations have resulted in recommendations to OSHA that standards are needed to address the hazards to do with reactive chemical hazards. The following quotation is from their web site, https://www.csb.gov/reactive-hazards/.
Reactive hazards are the dangers associated with uncontrolled chemical reactions in industrial processes. These uncontrolled reactions - such as thermal runaways and chemical decompositions - have been responsible for numerous fires, explosions, and toxic gas releases. From 1980 to 2001, 167 serious reactive accidents caused 108 fatalities in the U.S., according to the CSB's reactive hazards investigation.
Relevant reports and videos include:
Improving Reactive Hazard Management
Synthron Chemical Explosion
BP Amoco Thermal Decomposition Incident
West Fertilizer Explosion and Fire
Reactive Hazards Management
Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, TX
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