As the ballons were filled and the cake was cut, several industries got what they worked so hard to achieve... OSHA can not revise the PSM "retail" definition without going through the Public Rule Making process.  But those who take process safety and risk management seriously may be surprised to know that OSHA had already explained why they included the "retail exemption" and why they included it.  Simply put, OSHA said...

(emphasis added by me)

With respect to the exclusion of retail facilities and normally unmanned remote facilities, OSHA believed that such facilities did not present the same degree of hazard to employees as other workplaces covered by the proposal. Therefore OSHA should not require a comprehensive process safety management system in addition to other applicable OSHA standards addressing flammable and combustible liquids, compressed gases, hazard communication, etc., for retail facilities and unmanned remote facilities.

Certainly, highly hazardous chemicals may be present in both types of work operations. However, OSHA believes that chemicals in retail facilities are in SMALL VOLUME PACKAGES, containers and allotments, making a large release unlikely. OSHA received few comments disagreeing with the exemption of retail facilities (e.g., gasoline stations). OSHA has retained the exemption in the final rule.

As I have said for years, OSHA never imagined a process with a bulk container holding thousands of pounds of a Highly Hazardous Chemical (HHC) to be exempt for any reason.  Yes, it was a bad mistake in 1995 when they wrote their "50%" LOI; but from a risk perspective, that letter made no sense and appears to have been a political solution rather than a sound safety solution.

 

 

 
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