Improved process safety management and simple metrics



A Process Safety Management (PSM) system was recently implemented at Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority (GCWDA). This approach enabled management of increased process risks. These increased risks were brought about by the introduction of large quantities of oxygen for the processing of chemical waste and the destruction of emissions in Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers. This was a voluntary effort by GCWDA, since they do not fall under the OSHA PSM Standard (29 CFR 1910.119).

A tailored PSM system was developed that could comply with the OSHA Standard. This PSM system also included additional elements that are considered improvements on OSHA elements. These additional elements are utilized by some leading U.S. chemical manufacturing companies. These additional elements included Management Commitment, Management Review, Conduct of Operations and Continuous Improvement.

Simple metrics were created for selected PSM elements, in order to allow for continuous and proactive management review. These metrics supplemented periodic audits and replaced reliance on the common use of incident statistics.

This article will deal with the implementation of the PSM system from both the perspectives of the consultant that assisted in the implementation and the facility management that managed the implementation. The successes and some of the barriers for implementation in a small company will also be discussed, as well as the management success in the year after its implementation. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2008