By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

In response to an August 1, 2013 Executive Order 13650, OSHA has requested comments (78 Fed. Reg. 73756) on potential revisions to its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, its Explosives and Blasting Agents standard, its Flammable Liquids standard, its Spray Finishing standard, and potential changes to its PSM enforcement policies.

The Executive Order 13650, entitled Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, requires OSHA to publish, within ninety days, a request for information (RFI) designed to identify issues related to the “modernization” of its PSM standard (29 CFR 1910.119), and related standards necessary “to meet the goal of preventing major chemical accidents.” In response to the Executive Order, OSHA published this RFI on December 9, 2013, to collect data and information on its PSM standard and related standards, as well as other regulatory issues involving hazardous chemicals.

According to the RFI, OSHA “will use the information received in response to this RFI to determine what action, if any, it may take.” For instance, OSHA is requesting comments on which chemicals, if any, the Agency should add to the Appendix A of § 1910.119 (its list of 137 highly hazardous chemicals). OSHA is asking for comments on methods for periodically updating Appendix A. OSHA is seeking public comment on “additional management system elements that would increase worker protection if required under the PSM standard.” OSHA is suggesting that it clarify the PSM Standard by adding a definition for “recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices”. These and many other suggested revisions and updates are detailed in OSHA’s RFI.

Comments filed in response to the RFI, docket number OSHA–2013–0020, are due on March 14, 2014.