Inspectioneering Journal

OSHA Communication Rules Can Help Control Corrosion

By Nolan L. Miller, Engineering Associate at SASOL North America, and Marc McConnell, P.E., Metallurgy and Fixed Equipment Engineering Coordinator at Pro-Surve Technical Services. This article appears in the September/October 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Effective communication is one of the most important tools for corrosion control. If a process operator understands what it is about the process that can cause corrosion, and knows what to do about it, then the corrosion can be controlled.

Effective communication is the Sender’s ability to transmit a message to a Receiver and have that message understood. Effective communication requires that a recipient have the ability to interpret a message and be able to replicate the information transferred as intended by the Sender. If the Receiver is uncertain about any aspect of a communication, the Receiver should attempt to clarify the communication through the artful use of questions. The Sender is responsible for the effectiveness of the communication. This means the Sender must be certain to emphasize and code a communication so it is received in a manner that is understandable to the Receiver.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in the 1970s and one of its top priorities was to improve communication in an effort to reduce death and injury rates of on-the-job employees. In 1992, OSHA issued critical legislation on Process Safety Management (PSM). The regulation, 29 CFR 1910.119, was specifically designed to improve communication about what is inside equipment and pipes, and more importantly: how to keep it there. If we could measure, understand, mitigate, and most importantly, control corrosion, we can do a better job of keeping the product in the pipes. To accomplish this task, we needed to know what is causing the corrosion and how to control it.

PSM 29 CFR 1910.119 requires effective, understandable, clear communication. Simply put, it requires the practical transfer of information in several ways:

  1. Written Procedures

  2. Mandatory Management Of Change (MOC)

  3. RAGAGEP ("Recognized And Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices")

  4. Safe Operating Limits

Here is the importance of effective communication.  You can write all the procedures you want and have great IOW’s, but if you are not clear about the way you want people to work together to execute this stuff, it will remain in the province of “this is just how I do it”.  The explicit work processes is the only way to assure that the right things actually happen – shift to shift – day to day – year in and year out.

This content is available to registered users and subscribers

Register today to unlock this article for free.

Create your free account and get access to:

  • Unlock one premium article of your choosing per month
  • Exclusive online content, videos, and downloads
  • Insightful and actionable webinars
Interested in unlimited access? VIEW OUR SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS

Current subscribers and registered users can log in now.

Comments and Discussion

Posted by mahendra kumar rastogi on December 14, 2015
Excellent write up. Very useful for improving... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.

Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Training Solutions

Improve your skills in key mechanical integrity subjects.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.


Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.


Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

Videos & Webinars

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.


Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.