Recent disasters in the petrochemical industry have indicated that more clearly defined process safety controls are needed. Process safety management (PSM) is not an overnight adjustment. It is a program designed to change the culture of how processes are managed over a long period of time. Process safety management is not a new idea, but perhaps its full implications are not widely understood.
The proposed United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation for process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals (29 CFR 1910.119) is scheduled to be issued by the end of 1991. Although the OSHA program will not become law until then, two organizations within the United States (the American Petroleum Institute - API, and the Chemical Manufacturers Association - CMA) have taken the initiative to define model programs and their member companies are already taking steps to implement voluntary programs.
The API is a trade association of the petroleum industry whose primary objectives, are; (1) to afford a means of cooperation with the government in all matters of national concern; (2) to foster foreign and domestic trade in American petroleum products; (3) to promote in general, the interests of the petroleum industry in all its branches; and (4) to promote the mutual improvement of its members and the study of the arts and sciences connected with the petroleum industry.