OSHA asked for comments on its Process Safety Management standard, potential changes to PSM enforcement policies, and potential updates to its Explosives and Blasting Agents, Flammable Liquids and Spray Finishing standards.

OSHA Extends PSM Comment Period to March 31

The agency wants more input about a request for information published in December 2013 as part of the multi-agency process to improve chemical facility safety.

Only four comments have been posted to the online docket of OSHA’s request for information on potential changes to its Process Safety Management standard and related standards. OSHA announced May 5 that it has extended the public comment period by three weeks, to March 31, in response to requests for more time.

Published by OSHA in December 2013, the request was issued in response to President Obama's executive order 13650, which directed the departments of Labor, Homeland Security, and also EPA to work with several other federal agencies on ways to improve chemical facilities' safety and security. The April 2013 explosion of ammonium nitrate at a fertilizer facility in West, Texas, prompted the executive order.

OSHA asked for comments on its Process Safety Management standard, potential changes to PSM enforcement policies, and potential updates to its Explosives and Blasting Agents, Flammable Liquids and Spray Finishing standards. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/index.html. To submit a written comment, visit http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. OSHA-2013-0020.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is holding a hearing at 10 a.m. March 6 about activities undertaken as a result of the president's executive order. Witnesses scheduled to testify include Mathy Stanislaus, EPA's assistant administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response; Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board; Michael P. Wilson, Ph.D., MPH, chief scientist in the Office of the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations (parent agency of Cal/OSHA); James S. Frederick, assistant director for Health, Safety & Environment at the United Steelworkers International Union; and Scott Berger, executive director of the Center for Chemical Process Safety at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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