It amazes me how society, specifically lawyers and politicians, can be so collectively ignorant.  With all the change in the political winds some industries are breathing a sigh of relief regarding OSHA's efforts to redefine "retail" when it comes to the "retail exemption" found in their Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard.  For the record, I did NOT support the means in which OSHA went about changing the definition - but I fully support the change and think it is badly needed.  What amazes me is that all of these "trade groups" paid huge amounts of money to battle one of OSHA's Letter of Interpretation (LOI) that redefined "retail" as it would be applied to processes/businesses that handle highly hazardous chemicals (HHC).  Never did OSHA intend the "retail exemption" to be applied to bulk storage vessels holding tens of thousands of pounds of Highly Hazardous Chemicals, but early on in the PSM era we had courts intervening and redefining the intent of the standard (Meer Decision for flammable liquids).  And in 1995 OSHA issued their first "Letter to Regional Administrators" regarding the "retail exemption".  I do not recall any lawsuits surrounding this "interpretation" or "letter", but I may be wrong about this - I just do not remember any type of uprising about this in 1995.  But in June 2015 when OSHA decided they needed to clarify the retail definition and eliminate processes that handle tens of thousands of pounds of an HHC at any given moment from this exemption, then the uprising began because OSHA once AGAIN used the LOI process to define the exemption - JUST LIKE THEY DID IN 1995!  It seems some industry trade groups are just fine with some LOI's and not with others and the game they are playing is NOT about safety but about $$$$.

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Intro to Process Safety Management

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April 2-6, 2018

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