Most facilities in the chemical, petrochemical, and refining industries strive to meet the strict compliance guidelines of OSHA standard 1910.119.
Unfortunately, following all these process safety management
(PSM) standards can often prove to be harder than anticipated.
And in many cases, it makes more sense to partner with an
outside resource for PSM services than to handle everything in-house.
Outsourcing your PSM services can bring your facility many
benefits. Here are the top three.
1) Guaranteed Expertise in all 14 PSM Elements = Prevention of Future Incidents
Most – if not all – industrial facilities run lean operations nowadays. Employees have to wear multiple hats, and as a result, many companies don’t have the manpower to build an internal team that has expertise in all 14 PSM elements:
- Employee Participation
- Process Safety Information
- Process Hazard Analysis
- Operating procedures
- Pre-Startup Safety Review
- Mechanical Integrity
- Hot Work Permit
- Management of Change
- Incident Investigation
- Emergency Planning and Response
- Compliance Audits
- Trade Secrets
By outsourcing your PSM services to the
right organization, though, you can ensure that your PSM partners have
expertise in all these elements – many of which have specific, detailed
You can then rest assured that all aspects of your PSM
operations are being met fully to OSHA standards.
Key Takeaway: You can guarantee that all 14 PSM
elements will be met – and effectively – by working with the right outside
resource for your PSM services.
2) A Wealth of Knowledge Beyond Just What’s in Your Facility = Industry Expertise
Most internal teams involved in PSM gain their knowledge and undergo their training in-house. This has some benefits in that your internal teams know your facility already, know your company’s goals and understand how your company works.
But the pitfalls can far outweigh the benefits.
Here’s the problem. In scenarios like this, your internal
team’s knowledge only extends as far as the facility. They most likely don’t
have outside PSM knowledge of best practices beyond their facility – and, indeed,
beyond their industry.
Also, PSM staff turnover is a real and common problem in
many facilities, where chemical engineers assume this role but only view it as
a stepping stone in their careers. Often, employees who work in PSM do so for a
short time and do not want to do this permanently.
That’s why partnering with an outside resource who
specializes in and has a wealth of knowledge about PSM can bring many benefits
to your facility.
Their years of experience and expertise can provide you with
more best practices and an impartial approach to all elements of PSM from
training to compliance audits. You can also work with a team with years of
experience in PSM instead of, say, recent training so that you know that you’re
working with industry experts.
Consequently, you can mitigate the possibility of risks and
hazards in your facility, avoid or prevent violations, and more.
Key Takeaway: Many internal PSM teams have limited
time and knowledge, but an outside resource can have the industrywide knowledge
and experience your facility needs to have the utmost in safety procedures.
3) A Questioning Attitude that Helps You Uncover – and Prevent – the Root Causes of Incidents and Violations
As we previously mentioned, many refineries, chemical
facilities, and petrochemical facilities have tended to run lean in recent
years. Often, the internal teams handling PSM aren’t always passionate about
their jobs. So, what happens when you have an incident?
Here’s something we’ve seen more times than we can count in
our PSM work throughout the years.
An incident occurs. The facility gets in trouble. They’re
already on the OSHA and EPA radars. Then there’s another follow-up incident.
Things quickly snowball.
Why is this?
After the initial incident occurs, many teams do not have
the time, expertise, or dedicated staff to do a root cause analysis and keep
digging and questioning until the real root(s) of the problem are found.
And that makes sense; this takes quite a bit of time.
Due to a lack of time, though, many facilities will just
take what the problem is at face value, identify measures to remedy it, and
then move on. But that often doesn’t solve the actual cause(s) of the problem.
So, another incident occurs. And the issue isn’t really solved at all.
But by outsourcing your PSM services, you will have a team that has the time, expertise, and experience to find out the root causes of incidents in your facility. That way, you can identify these causes, come up with a plan of action to ensure they don’t happen again and prevent future violations.
Key Takeaway: If you outsource your PSM services to
an organization that specializes in PSM, you will have the time, the team, and
the process to uncover the root causes of incidents in your facilities and stop
them in the future.
Working with an outside resource for your PSM services can
provide you with many advantages including:
- Guaranteed expertise in all 14 PSM elements
- A wealth of knowledge beyond just what’s in your
- A questioning attitude that helps you uncover –
and prevent – the root causes of incidents and violations
As experts in PSM consulting, ETA has been at the forefront
of developing OSHA-specific programs and helping companies in the chemical, petrochemical,
and refining industries to meet the strict compliance guidelines of OSHA
standard 1910.119 since it was first issued in 1992.
ETA consultants and project managers serve as industry
leaders in the world of PSM. If you are looking for a dedicated and experienced
partner for your PSM services, start the conversation today. Get in touch with ETA.