Executive Order 13650

December 4, 2013

We wanted to make you aware of Executive Order 13650, which was published on Dec.3, 2013 as a result of the incident in West, Texas that will be targeting the modernization of the Process Safety Standard. This Executive Order presents some significant potential changes to the OSHA Process Safety Standard. OSHA is requesting comments as a result of this Executive Order.

OSHA identified a number of rulemaking and policy options through the Agency's PSM NEPs, its investigation of major accidents, and its review of recommendations from the safety community. OSHA identified the following topics as potential candidates for rulemaking or enforcement policy changes:

  1. Clarifying the PSM exemption for atmospheric storage tanks;
  2. Oil- and Gas-Well Drilling and Servicing;
  3. Oil- and Gas-Production Facilities;
  4. Expanding PSM Coverage and Requirements for Reactivity Hazards;
  5. Updating the List of Highly Hazardous Chemicals in Appendix A of the PSM Standard;
  6. Revising the PSM Standard to Require Additional Management-System Elements;
  7. Amending Paragraph (d) of the PSM Standard to Require Evaluation of Updates to Applicable recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP);
  8. Clarifying the PSM Standard by Adding a Definition for RAGAGEP;
  9. Expanding the Scope of Paragraph (j) of the PSM Standard to Cover the Mechanical Integrity of Any Safety-Critical Equipment;
  10. Clarifying Paragraph (l) of the PSM Standard with an Explicit Requirement that Employers Manage Organizational Changes;
  11. Revising Paragraph (n) of the PSM Standard to Require Coordination of Emergency Planning with Local Emergency-Response Authorities;
  12. Revising Paragraph (o) of the PSM Standard to Require Third-Party Compliance Audits;
  13. Expanding the Requirements of §1910.109 to Cover Dismantling and Disposal of Explosives, Blasting Agents, and Pyrotechnics;
  14. Updating §§1910.106 and 1910.107 Based on the Latest Applicable Consensus Standards;
  15. Updating the Regulations Addressing the Storage, Handling, and Management of Ammonium Nitrate;
  16. Changing Enforcement Policy of the PSM Exemption for Retail Facilities; and
  17. Changing Enforcement Policy for Highly Hazardous Chemicals Listed in Appendix A of the PSM Standard without Specific Concentrations.

In particular, we wanted to point to what is being proposed for items 6 and 10 as these will potentially impact a number of industries vs. (i.e. items 1 and 2).

For Item 6, OSHA are proposing to adopt the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) Revisions to Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS II) final rule (78 FR 20423; 04/05/2013) elements including:

  • Developing and implementing a stop work authority
  • Developing and implementing an ultimate work authority to clearly define who has the ultimate work authority on a facility for operational safety and decision-making at any given time,
  • and requiring an employee participation plan.

For Item 10 the existing standard does not explicitly state that employers must follow management-of-change procedures for organizational changes, 10 such as changes in management structure, budget cuts, or personnel changes; however, as noted in a March 31, 2009, Memorandum for Regional Administrators from Richard Fairfax11, it is OSHA's position that paragraph (l) covers organizational changes if the changes have the potential to affect process safety. Since the original promulgation of the PSM rule, it has become well established in the safety community that organizational changes can have a profound impact on worker safety and, therefore, employers should evaluate organizational change like any other change. Illustrating the significant hazards that organizational changes can produce, the CSB identified a lack of organizational management of change as a significant factor behind the 2005 BP Texas City Refinery accident that killed 15 workers and injured over 170 others (CSB Report No. 2005-04-ITX). OSHA invites comments on whether revising paragraph (l) to clarify that the PSM standard's organizational management-of-change requirements will increase worker safety.

In addition, OSHA are proposing to add some additional elements to the standard based upon CCPS's Risk Based Process Safety Program's 20 element model including: Measurement and Metrics, Management Review and Continuous Improvement, and Process Safety Competency.

These are a but a few examples or proposed changes. For more comprehensive information on Executive Order 13650, click here. We will keep you posted as this changes in the near future. For more information, click here.