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Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor established by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 in order to ensure that employers provide a safe and healthy workplace environment for their employees. They accomplish this goal by setting and enforcing standards, and providing education and training to employers and workers.

Employees in both the private sector and public sector are protected by OSHA regulations. The agency has jurisdiction in all 50 states and certain other U.S. territories, such as Washington DC and Puerto Rico. 22 states and territories have their own individual state-operated OSHA programs.

Among other regulations, OSHA has issued the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard (29 CFR 1910.119). This regulation contains requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals. Among other things, it requires operators to keep written safety procedures when dealing with dangerous chemicals. It also requires they create and implement an action plan in case of emergencies.

Another one of their more prominent regulations is the OSHA National Emphasis Program, or NEP. The OSHA National Emphasis Program is a series of programs that was put in place by OSHA in order to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards that are caused by, or associated with, specific issues, chemicals, processes, or industries. The program has been implemented in all states and territories where OSHA has direct jurisdiction.

One of the final, yet still most important protections guaranteed by OSHA are their protections for whistleblowers. OSHA protects whistleblowers from retaliation from their employees for reporting unsafe workplace environments. This is an important protection, because otherwise it’s unlikely employees would report unsafe working conditions and continue to expose themselves to unnecessary risks.

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Articles about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Blog

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. Although the list rarely sees...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Blog

The U.S. Department of Labor provides a vast amount of raw data related to OSHA activities (inspections, violations, etc.) through their website. What follows is a quick summary of 2016-2017 OSHA violation data pulled directly from the DOL.

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
Blog

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. Although the list rarely sees...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Blog

Last October, we saw the State of California implement its “PSM for Refineries” standard and now the State of Washington’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) appears to be following suit, releasing draft language to adopt a...

Authors: Daniel J. Grucza
Blog

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its annual list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations. In 2017 Fall Protection, Hazard Communication, and Scaffolding once again...

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Our proprietary furnace tube inspection system, FTIS is an ultrasonic inspection technology capable of rapid, automated fired heater coil inspection in refinery fired heaters. The data captured by our furnace tube inspection system is...

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a new guide to help petroleum refiners comply with its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard (1910.119). The guide presents lessons learned from the petroleum...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Blog

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued two reports on the safe management of hazards by small businesses and storage facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals in business processes.

Blog

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, comprised from approximately 32,000...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Blog

The first increases to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines for violations of safety regulations since 1990 went into effect on August 1, 2016. The increases are substantial: the maximum penalties have increased by 78 percent.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

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.

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On July 20, 2015, OSHA published a long awaited Directive on the revised Hazard Communication Standard (“HCS”), Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), CPL 02-02-079. The Directive is intended to provide...

Blog

OSHA has recently issued three memoranda updating guidance on its Process Safety Management (“PSM”) standard.

Authors: Linda Otaigbe
Online Article

In the oil & gas, chemical and petrochemical industries, identifying, understanding, and controlling process hazards in order to prevent process-related injuries and incidents is of the utmost importance. EPA and OSHA have released numerous...

Blog

A memorandum released by OSHA provides a list of 16 enforcement considerations when evaluating whether an employer is meeting the RAGAGEP requirements under the PSM standard. Here are 8 tips for addressing OSHA's new enforcement guidance.

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Challenges abounded in 2014 for the process industries, and it does not look like they will let up soon. But then again, that’s life, as they say. After 40 years in the industry the old adages still ring true, “there is nothing new under the...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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In this interim report, Pinnacle analysts take data from the oil refining industry and dive into how that key sector is being affected by reliability today. Download your free copy!

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The role of an API inspector is rapidly changing. Necessary skills for success have transformed as technology, standardization, and regulations have become part of the way of life.

Blog

For over 20 years OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard worked to guarantee safe and healthy workplaces in industries that use hazardous chemicals. For most of that time the standard had remained largely unmodified. This all changed last...

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Periodically, oil refinery and petrochemical plant operating companies conduct complex turnarounds for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to, scheduled maintenance, facility upgrades, and code compliance. In this series of articles...

Authors: Scott Corey
July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

The Process Safety Management Rule (29 CFR 1910.119 - PSM) has long been recognized as a collection of interdependent requirements. In recent reviews of PSM programs by OSHA, it has been shown that two of the most cited elements in agency audits...

Authors: Holly F. Baker
September/October 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

Washington, DC, September 18, 2008 - A fire and series of explosions at the Barton Solvents Des Moines, Iowa, chemical distribution facility on October 29, 2007, was caused by a static electrical spark resulting from inadequate electrical bonding...

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May/June 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

Since OSHA began issuing citations under the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard (29 CFR 1910.119) the relative frequency of citations related to some subsections of the regulation has increased dramatically, while the frequency of others has...

May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.119, "Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals," has been in effect since may of 1992. To enforce this...

May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

Never have I known or read of anyone, who sought out wisdom, to regret it, nor to help but benefit from it. Wouldn't you agree, wisdom recognizes, holds onto, operates out of and values timeless, tried and true principles that can be, and should...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

Equipment maintenance methods and philosophies continue to evolve. What has taken many by surprise is the rate of change and the sense of urgency that now surrounds issues related to Mechanical Integrity (MI) in the field of maintenance...

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