OSHA Changes Policy on Concentration of Chemicals
OSHA recently announced that it will partner with Health Canada to create universal regulatory approaches to labeling and classification requirements for workplace chemicals through the Regulatory Cooperation Council.
OSHA has revised the enforcement policy on the concentration of a chemical that must be present in a process for the purpose of determining whether the chemical is at or above the threshold quanity listed in Appendix A of the Process Safety management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (PSM). The previous policy was found to be potentially unsafe for use around hazardous chemicals.
Under OSHA’s revised policy, an employer is required to use a new process to calculate:
- The total weight of any chemical in the process at a concentration that is at or above the concentration listed for that chemical in Appendix A.
- For chemicals which no concentration is specified in Appendix A, the total weight of the chemical in the process at a concentration of 1 percent or greater.
The employer does not need to include the weight of such chemicals in any portion of the process in which the partial pressure of the chemical in the vapor space under handling or storage conditions is less than 10 millimeters of mercury. The employer must document this partial pressure determination.
For more detailed information, please refer to the full policy changes at www.osha.gov.
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