14 Elements Of process safety Management (PSM)

In 1992, due to series of accidents that occurred in industries, OSHA had developed a list of highly hazardous chemicals defined by 29 CFR 1910.119. If the company having HHC more than the threshold limit, it is necessary to implement PSM elements to comply with OSHA’s requirements.

Elements Of process safety Management

We had discussed industrial safety in detail like What is EHS? Let us have a brief introduction to what is the meaning of PSM and then we will discuss all the Elements Of process safety Management in detail.

What PSM means?

PSM stands for Process Safety Management which is a systematic analytical tool that helps to prevent accidents and hazardous cause by OSHA-defined highly hazardous chemicals. The main aim of PSM elements is to reduce the number of accidents due to HHC and improves process safety.

What are the 14 elements of PSM?

  1. Employee Participation
  2. Process Safety Information
  3. Process Hazard Analysis
  4. Operating Procedures
  5. Training
  6. Contractors
  7. Pre-Startup Safety Review
  8. Mechanical Integrity.
  9. Hot Work Permit
  10. Management Of Change
  11. Incident Investigation
  12. Emergency Planning And Response
  13. Compliance Audits
  14. Trade Secrets

Now let us understand these elements of process safety management in brief.

Employee Participation

The first and foremost thing that is required for the implementation of PSM elements is employee participation. Employees of production as well and maintenance departments should be involved in the PSM elements. A representative from both departments should be included in the meetings and discussions conducted on PSM-related issues.

Process Safety Information

Every process has some degree of risk along with it. It is necessary to share the risk involved with the workers working on the process. Its the employer’s responsibility to create a document on process safety information and make it accessible to the workers working on the process.

Process Hazard Analysis

Process hazard analysis is the technical mandate of PSM where it is required to perform a detailed analysis on process and identified the hazard includes in the process. All the consequences in case of system failure should be analyzed in detail by the dedicated team. According to the OSHA, teams should be comprised of person who is expert in that field to have a proper analysis.

Operating Procedures

Every operation that is being performed in the industry must be done as per the standard operating procedure. Experts should prepare the standard operating procedures for every activity and task to avoid mishaps. Standard operating procedures are prepared to avoid errors that can be happened while performing tasks.


Training is the most important part and should be done mandatory according to the OSHA. To perform operations with safety, it is important that the person should be trained, hence it is necessary that the person working on highly hazardous chemicals should be trained and through the competent sheet. OSHA requires training procedures should be well documented. Training management system software makes it easy to handle training as well as competent test.


Prior to giving operation or project on contracts, it is employers responsibility to ensure that all the workers including contract workers and company employees are well aware of the risk and potential hazards of all the process.

Pre-Startup Safety Review

Prior to starting the plant after a shutdown or commissioning of the new plant, PSSR is important. PSSR ensures that the process is safe and ready in operating condition. All the checklist and safety points should be reviewed for new and modified facilities. OSHA requires to perform a Pre-Startup Safety Review even if a single component or process is being modified or added.

Mechanical Integrity

All the equipment had their life. As they are used in the process, wear and tear and operating conditions decrease the life of the equipment. Poor condition equipment can cause an accident and has the potential to harm human life and property. Hence it is important to perform tests and check the mechanical integrity and document those details.

Hot Work Permit

Various types of work and jobs in being conducted in industry and as an administrative tool, a permit to work is issued. There are primarily 5 types of work permits that are being issued viz. General work permit, height work permit, hot work permit, confined space work permit, and excavation work permit. Among these work permit, hot work is relatively dangerous as high temperature and fire generation is involved in the hot work activity.

Hence it is important to have a trained person performing the activity and should comply with all the points mentioned in the permit without failure.

Management Of Change

In the process, if the process department wants to change for the optimization or modify the piping or equipment for a change in process, it should proceed to pass through management of change form. This is a written and documented process where the change in process is approved by various departments such as the process, maintenance and safety departments to check if there is any risk or hazard involved in the change. Management of changes included change in process, chemicals, raw materials, equipment, piping and process flow, technology or procedures.

Incident Investigation

Incidents occur in industries as the risk involved in the work can’t be eliminated but can reduce. OSHA states that organizations should have to do the investigation of the situation that had or could have resulted in major accidents and it should be well documented. This investigation could help us to take learning and in future, it can be referred to avoid such situation.

Emergency Planning And Response

Risk is involved in every job and these risks can lead to major accidents in industry. It is important to have emergency planning and it should be available to the workers and the persons working in the organization should be trained. In the fire safety in the workplace section, we had discussed why Fire Emergency Plan is mandatory to reduce the damage that can be occurred due to fire. Hence emergency planning and response plan should be available which can be executed in case of an emergency and to fight against hazards occurred due to highly hazadeous chemicals.

Compliance Audits

Employers in order to evaluate all the procedures are being followed according to the standard, should have a compliance certificate at least every three year,s and based on this element, it is required to 2 most recent audit reports with them.

Trade Secrets

It is observed that the organization or the management doesn’t share the process used in the manufacturing with the employees to protect the process as a trade secret. According to the PSM, it is mandatory to share the details of the process which can affect the health of employees and they have the right to know.

FAQ (PSM Elements)

How many elements of PSM are there?

There are total of 14 elements of PSM which are
Employee Participation, Process Safety Information, Process Hazard Analysis, Operating Procedures, Training, ContractorsPre-Startup Safety Review, Mechanical Integrity, Hot Work Permit, Management Of Change, Incident Investigation, Emergency Planning And Response, Compliance Audits, Trade Secrets

What is included in process safety information?

Every process includes some risk and hazard. In the process safety information element, it is included that all the workers and employees working on the process should be aware of the process safety of the process on which they are working and all the details and information should be accessible to all the persons working there.

What is a process safety incident

A process safety incident is an unexpected event that occurred which has the potential to cause damage to humans and property due to the release of highly hazardous chemicals, failure of mechanical equipment or pipe, or a fire.

Wrapping up

This is the detailed post on what is PSM element and what are the 14 elements of process safety elements. If you have any problems related to PSM elements then feel free to use the comment section. In meantime, you can read other articles on industrial safety where we had covered Industrial safety in detail.

Me - Founder of Chemical Tweak - A Chemical Engineer by profession and a part-time self-trained technology blogger.

1 thought on “14 Elements Of process safety Management (PSM)”

  1. Yes, it’s true I completely agree safety of the employees should be the priority of the company as all the employees are the assets for the company and in the development of a company, organization every employee has their role.


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