OSHA issued a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for chemical facilities to protect workers from catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals. The new NEP replaces OSHA's 2009 pilot Chemical Emphasis Program which covered several OSHA regions around the country.
The program establishes policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that are covered by OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard. The program's inspection process includes detailed questions designed to gather facts related to PSM requirements and verification that employers' written and implemented PSM programs are consistent. The intent of the NEP is to conduct quick inspections at a large number of facilities that will be randomly selected from a list of worksites likely to have highly hazardous chemicals in quantities covered by the standard.
"Far too many workers are injured and killed in preventable incidents at chemical facilities around the country," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
"This program will enable OSHA inspectors to cover chemical facilities nationwide to ensure that all required measures are taken to protect workers." See the news release
for more information.