OSHA program to target workplaces that release hazardous chemicals
The national emphasis program establishes policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that are covered by the agency's process safety management standard. The one-year pilot program's inspection process requires compliance officers to gather facts related to the standard's requirements and verify that employers' written and implemented programs are consistent. Officials said the intent of the program is to conduct quick inspections at a large number of facilities that will be randomly selected from a list of work sites likely to have highly hazardous chemicals in quantities covered by the standard.
"Several catastrophic incidents have been caused by failure to comply with the requirements of the process safety management standard," said Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.
The program will be piloted in several regions around the country using programmed inspections, which are planned and do not result from an accident, complaint or referral. In regions not covered by the pilot, the program will be used to inspect workplaces reporting process safety management-related complaints, referrals, accidents or catastrophes.
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September 25, 2009
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