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Safety Management Insights

Getting Your Process Safety Management Program Started

Posted by Doug Shoemaker on Oct 22, 2019 2:01:39 PM

psm-programA solid Process Safety Management (PSM) program is a must for any company that is handling, using, storing, moving, or manufacturing highly hazardous chemicals (HHCs) onsite. PSM programs are meant to prevent the mishandling or release of these HHCs by managing the integrity of the operating systems and processes surrounding them. They are built on design principles, engineering, and operating practices.

There are 14 Elements of PSM that are focused on either technology, facility, or personnel. Learn more about those here.

Each site at a PSM regulated company must ensure their own facility is safe to operate, equipment is maintained properly, and proper operating procedures are in place. Any site that has a Process Safety Management program will be held to the standards of their own program even if it has stricter requirements than OSHA outlines.

Process Safety Management programs are essential for managing all types of chemical operations and operations involving hazardous material. A good program requires going beyond compliance to not only protects workers and the environment, but also to add value to a company’s management system.

What does a Process Safety Management Program accomplish?

When the 14 Elements of PSM are managed correctly they prevent the catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive materials that pose a safety risk not only to workers but to the general public.

By introducing stricter technique and processes to your EHS program it introduces a broader and deeper approach to managing risk. These processes also prevent weaknesses in regulatory compliance and generate more interest in safety. The top down approach introduced with a good Process Safety Management program increases safety culture, productivity, and product quality.

The strict guidelines and structure put in place by a PSM program get organizations closer or help them achieve both ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 compliance.

Is there an existing Process Safety Management Program I can use?

Every workplace has unique hazards, challenges, and EHS concerns. This prevents the creation of a single best approach. However, understanding the elements of PSM can help companies develop their own blueprint specific to their needs. If you need help with this scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link provided.

Companies should focus on each of the elements of Process Safety Management individually and also as an interlinked system. Each one contributes to the other elements or requires other elements in order to be leveraged correctly. Process Safety Management programs require an inter-dependency between the elements so understanding how they work together is critical for success.

If it helps, think of a process as an activity or sequence of events that lead to an expected result. The goal of a PSM program is to understand how all the activities affect each other in order to mitigate potential risk.

Minor issues can snowball quickly into catastrophic events, which is why EHS leaders should examine every step of a process to ensure the highest level of safety possible. A very important piece of all Process Safety Management programs is ongoing review to maintain optimal performance.

The easiest way to build, manage, and maintain your program is with PSM specific EHS software like BasicSafe. Our software was designed to simplify and automate your program all while providing data driven insights to help improve your program over time.

To get help building your program or to see a demo of our software click the link below!

Schedule a Demo