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News Advisory

OSHA Announces PSM-Covered Chemical Concentrations Temporary Enforcement Delay

March 29, 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has granted the American Chemistry Council’s request for a stay of the 1% Memo through September 30, 2016. The Temporary Enforcement Delay is posted online

The OSHA announcement states the following:

PSM-Covered Chemical Concentrations Temporary Enforcement Delay

On June 5, 2015, OSHA issued a revised enforcement policy on the concentration of a chemical that must be present in a process for the purpose of determining whether the chemical is at or above the threshold quantity listed in Appendix A of the Process Safety Management standard (29 C.F.R. § 1910.119). See memorandum entitled "Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals and Covered Concentrations of Listed Appendix A Chemicals." With respect to chemicals for which no concentration is specified in Appendix A, the new policy provides that in determining whether a process involves a chemical at or above the specified threshold quantities listed in Appendix A, OSHA will consider the total weight of the chemical in the process at a concentration of one percent or greater. However, OSHA will not count the weight of such chemicals in any portion of the process in which the partial pressure of the chemical in the vapor space under handling or storage conditions is less than 10 millimeters of mercury.

Through September 30, 2016, employers will not be cited for violations of the PSM standard based on the June 5, 2015, enforcement policy.  However, PSM citations may still be issued based on the previous "commercial grade concentration" policy, under which OSHA considers the total weight of the chemical in the process at commercial grade concentrations and higher.

For more regulatory status questions, please contact Steve Arendt at (281) 673-2914 or sarendt@absconsulting.com.

For more information about ABS Group’s PSM services, please contact David Whittle at (865) 671-5819 or dwhittle@absconsulting.com, or Jim Thompson at 281-673-2853 or jthompson@absconsulting.com.

Register for our free Webinar on April 19: Proposed Changes to EPA's RMP Rule – Potential Impacts to Industry and How to Get Ready

About ABS Group

ABS Group of Companies, Inc. (www.abs-group.com), through its operating subsidiaries, provides technical advisory and certification services to support the safety and reliability of high-performance assets and operations in the oil, gas and chemical, power generation, marine, offshore and government sectors, among others. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ABS Group operates with more than 1,300 professionals in over 30 countries. ABS Group is a subsidiary of ABS, a leading marine and offshore classification society.

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