California Agency Releases Status Report on PSM Oversight

The report is focused on the Department of Industrial Relations' oversight of petroleum refineries in the state.

California's Department of Industrial Relations has submitted a legislatively mandated status report on the Process Safety Management regulatory oversight it is maintaining for petroleum refineries in the state. "This report gives a description of appropriate funding allotted to our PSM Unit, which has allowed us to design and implement a new approach for regulating the petroleum refining industry," Christine Baker, director of the department, which is Cal/OSHA's parent agency.

The agency's news release says the new assessment requires refineries to provide funding support to DIR for Cal/OSHA's PSM refinery program. The funds have allowed DIR to expand the PSM staff from 10 positions to 26 positions and supported 11 weeks of advanced technical training for refinery inspectors.

"Our new approach deploys a larger team of skilled professionals who conduct in-depth refinery inspections, with the ultimate goal of preventing workplace accidents, explosions, and other unplanned events that could affect workers and the surrounding community," said PSM Statewide Manager and Policy Advisor Clyde Trombettas.

Cal/OSHA's PSM Unit is responsible for inspecting refineries and chemical plants that handle large quantities of toxic and flammable materials. Health and safety standards enforced by the PSM Unit, including adequate employee training, are intended to prevent catastrophic explosions, fires, and releases of dangerous chemicals.

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