GCAP is always looking to improve our PSM training program and consultation services. One of the tools we use is to request information from OSHA and the EPA under the Federal “Freedom of Information Act” which is often referred to as a FOIA request. In 2012 (at great expense) we used this tool to get the citation information for all PSM citations from 2008-2011. In 2013 we filed additional FOIA’s to get all 2012 citations. We don’t just get the citations themselves, but the documents behind them that show the reasoning behind the citations including pictures, the inspector’s inspection narrative, etc. Obviously, we learned a lot about how OSHA and the EPA interpret the PSM/RMP standards from these FOIA’s and we’ve used that information in our custom textbook for our PSM class as well as source/working material for our NEP class.
Earlier this year, due to a FOIA we read an inspector quote from OSHA course book “3430 – Advanced Process Safety Management in the Chemical Industries.” We’ve long known of this course, but it’s only available from the OSHA Training Institute and only allows OSHA inspectors to attend the class. The quoted line that drew our attention was this: “The loss of Ml due to external corrosion is the single biggest concern in industrial ammonia refrigeration components.”
We wondered – if OSHA is saying this in the course, what else are they saying? What was their source for this information? We again requested to be able to attend the course at our own cost and were turned down. GCAP’s Director of Compliance Services, Brian Chapin, recalled a court ruling that was referenced in the MEER decision (http://www.oshrc.gov/decisions/html_1997/95-0341.html) from the 1990’s from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Diamond Roofing v. OSHRC, 528 F.2d 645, 649 (5th Cir. 1976):
“An employer, however, is entitled to fair notice in dealing with his government. Like other statutes and regulations which allow monetary penalties against those who violate them, an occupational safety and health standard must give an employer fair warning of the conduct it prohibits or requires, and it must provide a reasonably clear standard of culpability to circumscribe the discretion of the enforcing authority and its agents….
If a violation of a regulation subjects private parties to criminal or civil sanctions, a regulation cannot be construed to mean what an agency intended but did not adequately express.”
We didn’t think that an OSHA course on how they interpret the standard could be refused under FOIA so we requested the coursebook from the course under the Freedom of Information Act. Jeremy Williams, Managing Director of GCAP stated: “They can’t rig the game like this – if we’re being held to certain standards, we should know what they are. Sure, this is a legal issue, but at the end of the day it’s about Process Safety – Safety being the key word here.”
Eventually OSHA approved our FOIA request and we received three books totaling about 500 pages.
Unfortunately, they had redacted quite a bit of the information we were actually interested in. One example is the Ammonia Refrigeration Processes and Equipment presentation which was of particular interest.
Slides that were redacted include titles like:
- Does PSM Apply?
- What About NH3 Refrigeration Processes < 10,000lbs?
- What are Signs of a Poor NH3 Refrigeration PSM Program?
- What Design Codes and Standards Could be Expected in PSI?
- Inspection RAGAGEP?
You can understand why we would want access to that information. OSHA had redacted it under provision 7(e) of the Freedom of Information Act. Provision 7(e) protects records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes the release of which could reasonably be expected to disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions. Essentially, they are arguing that if we knew what they were looking for we would be able to avoid citations.
Look, we at GCAP don’t necessarily disagree in that argument, but this same argument could be made to block any information requested about any citation at all! If they are looking for things because those things indicate a safety issue, then solving those things would alleviate the safety issue. Isn’t that what they are in business for? We don’t think citations should be the primary business that OSHA is in!
We’d rather have the problem solved by the PSM practitioner and refrigeration technicians to ensure the safety of the community and the employee BEFORE the odd OSHA inspection or chemical release. OSHA’s position seems to be that the information on these slides shows inspectors where there are gaps in a program but that information should only be known to the inspectors – not the people actually endangered by the process or the people in charge of ensuring its safety.
Is OSHA more interested in citations than employee safety? It certainly shouldn’t be – according to their own website (https://www.osha.gov/about.html) the reason that congress created OSHA was “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
Is hiding information that would show those operating a chemical process where there might be flaws in that process really how they intend to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women”? We at GCAP don’t think that’s right and we intend to appeal these redactions.
Look for an upcoming podcast where we discuss what we learned from the information they did provide including the answer to the original question: What was the source of that quote in the original citation?
By KELTON BROOKS
Residents of Garden City are more than familiar with the Lee Richardson Zoo and the 2.2 million gallon “Big Pool,” but not as well known to some in Garden City would be being home to the world’s largest industrial, hands-on technical school and training lab.
Along the winding road of Fulton Street, just before one hits the highway, stands a facility recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the United States.
The Garden City Ammonia Program provides training for more than 600 different companies and instructs about 1,800 to 2,000 students a year.
“We’re kind of like a two-year technical school, but instead of going to school for two years, they are coming in and taking week-long courses,” Jeremy Williams, directing manager of the Garden City Ammonia Program, said.
And by “they,” Williams is referring to the students who take observation tests and written exams to check their knowledge on operating the machinery.
The program has close to 40 people in Garden City per week, who take two to three classes a week.
“We train refrigeration technicians and managers on how to use refrigers such as ammonia, refrigeration processors, carbon dioxide and steam boilers,” Williams said.
“What they are learning here is how to operate — safely and efficiently — these industrial systems,” he said.
Williams added that most of the students already have a “mechanical aptitude” and work for corporations such as Nestle, Sara Lee and Tyson.
“We want to see if they can exceed and go to the next level and progressively build their careers,” he said.
GCAP works with students from all of over the world, with 90 percent of its enrollment by people outside the state of Kansas. This week, there are 13 people from different states and five people from different countries, ranging from Alaska to Australia.
“It’s a fantastic program here,” Alessandro Silva, 41, who arrived at the program Nov. 5 from Brazil, said. “In Brazil, we don’t have a program like this which motivated me to come here. Everything is put on the table very clear. I want to learn as much as I can here to provide information for my country and colleagues.”
Patrick Fossey, 35, a Venezuelan from Chile, said he was “very satisfied with the program and facility.”
“Everything here is conceived to teach,” Fossey said. “It is a facility where you will come and learn.”
Representative George Miller that has been in congress since 1975 has introduced legislation to revise the OSHA penalty structure. There are some interesting changes in this legislation that could tremendously affect our industry relating to fines and penalties.
Repeat Violations – Increased from $70,000 to $120,000
Serious Violations – OSHA has requested increase from $7,000 to $12,000.
Built in inflation adjustment for penalty amounts
Requirement of reporting of fatalities and hospitalizations of 2 or more employees (currently 3)
5 years imprisonment for a 1st offence violation that causes or contributes to serious bodily harm to any employee but does not cause death to any employee – 10 years for subsequent offences
10 years imprisonment for a 1st offence violation that causes or contributes to the death to any employee – 20 years for subsequent offences
Increases federal oversight of state OSHA plans
Increases whistle-blower protection
Allows multiple general duty citations – one for each affected employee
These would be massive changes to the enforcement of the OSHA rules.
You can read the bill at this link.
These videos may be considered to be old school, but they are great videos on basic refrigeration done by the US government.
Principles of Refrigeration
GCAP has been highly involved with PSM/RMP training and PSM/RMP compliance services the last decade.
Starting January 2014, we will start our Compliance Training Tour!
Look for Garden City Ammonia Program to come to a town near you.
January 27 – 30, 2014 @ Bakersfield, CA
February 24 – 27, 2014 @ Fort Worth, TX
March 3 – 6, 2014 @ Arnold, PA
March 17 – 20, 2014 @ Eau Claire, WI
March 31 – April 3, 2014 @ Fayetteville, AR
April 21 – 24, 2014 @ Phoenix, AZ
May 5 – 8, 2014 @ Auburn, MA
May 19 – 22, 2014 @ Springdale, OH
June 16 -19, 2014 @ Geneva, IL
July 28 – 31 @ Bakersfield, CA
GCAP is finalizing ten other locations.
If you would like to host one of these seminars please contact Kristen De La Pena of GCAP at 620-271-0037 or email@example.com
GCAP’s PSM/RMP Video
Garden City Ammonia Program has developed a 22 minute DVD specifically for PSM/RMP Ammonia Awareness. It is designed to give newly hired employees a brief overview of OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.119 and also EPA’s risk management program from book 40. We are finding that the industry is hiring new employees that are not familiar with the requirements under these standards. In response to that trend, we created this DVD to give them an idea of what the standards and an introduction to PSM/RMP
I came across this video from SAFTENG.net
Not much is known on the accident but it was from Araguaina, Brazil and the language being spoken is Portuguese.
GARDEN CITY AMMONIA PROGRAM
is proud to announce their newest website dedicated to their Process Safety Division.
PSM / RMP: Process Safety Management / Risk Magement Programs
Garden City Ammonia Program brings you the latest news site for Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Systems facing CHEM NEP or Chemical National Emphasis Program issued by OSHA. GCAP has hands on trainig labs for Ammonia Refrigeration, CO2 Refrigeration, and Steam Boilers. Randy Williams and GCAP CoolCast Team bring you CHEMNEP
For more information give us a call. 620.271.0037
PSM/RMP Training and Compliance Services
OSHA and the IIAR have not seen eye to eye on the issue of Hydrostatic trapping since 2006 when OSHA issued the Palmer interpretation letter which said the following:
If a liquid expansion hazard exists and the only safeguard to protect against this hazard is the use of trained operators/technicians, then OSHA would not consider this hazard to be adequately controlled, as required by 1910.119(e). After addressing the liquid expansion hazard in the PHA, the employer must address and resolve any of the PHA team’s findings and recommendations [1910.119(e)(5)]. Employers could abate this hazard and address and resolve the PHA finding/recommendation by installing the hydrostatic relief device(s) required by ANSI/IIAR 2 — 1999, Section 7.3.4(a)
Thankfully the IIAR was adamant in their resolve which resulted in the following letter: OSHA agrees that this revised language addresses the concems expressed in our response to question 10 in Palmer by clarifying that engineering controls, e.g., hydrostatic relief devices or expansion compens ation devices must be used when liquid filled equipment or piping can be automaticolly isolated under either nonnal or abnormal operating conditions. We also agree that
“trained technicians” acting in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.147 (lockout/tagout) can safely perform manual isolation of potentially liquid filled equipment and piping. e.g .. to prepare equipment or piping for maintenance…
OSHA intends to revise Palmer by striking all or part of the reply to question 10 and adding either an explanatory note or footnote referencing the revised language in ANSI/IIAR 2-2008
You can read the letter here: http://issuu.com/iiarcondenser/docs/osha_hydrostatic?e=8262184/4645894
Executive Order — Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security
IMPROVING CHEMICAL FACILITY SAFETY AND SECURITY
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. Chemicals, and the facilities where they are manufactured, stored, distributed, and used, are essential to today’s economy. Past and recent tragedies have reminded us, however, that the handling and storage of chemicals are not without risk. The Federal Government has developed and implemented numerous programs aimed at reducing the safety risks and security risks associated with hazardous chemicals. However, additional measures can be taken by executive departments and agencies (agencies) with regulatory authority to further improve chemical facility safety and security in coordination with owners and operators.
Sec. 2. Establishment of the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group. (a) There is established a Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group (Working Group) co-chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Secretary of Labor or their designated representatives at the Assistant Secretary level or higher. In addition, the Working Group shall consist of the head of each of the following agencies or their designated representatives at the Assistant Secretary level or higher:
(i) the Department of Justice;
(ii) the Department of Agriculture; and
(iii) the Department of Transportation.
(b) In carrying out its responsibilities under this order, the Working Group shall consult with representatives from:
(i) the Council on Environmental Quality;
(ii) the National Security Staff;
(iii) the Domestic Policy Council;
(iv) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
(v) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB);
(vi) the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs; and
(vii) such other agencies and offices as the President may designate.
(c) The Working Group shall meet no less than quarterly to discuss the status of efforts to implement this order. The Working Group is encouraged to invite other affected agencies, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to attend these meetings as appropriate. Additionally, the Working Group shall provide, within 270 days of the date of this order, a status report to the President through the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
Sec. 3. Improving Operational Coordination with State, Local, and Tribal Partners. (a) Within 135 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall develop a plan to support and further enable efforts by State regulators, State, local, and tribal emergency responders, chemical facility owners and operators, and local and tribal communities to work together to improve chemical facility safety and security. In developing this plan, the Working Group shall:
(i) identify ways to improve coordination among the Federal Government, first responders, and State, local, and tribal entities;
(ii) take into account the capabilities, limitations, and needs of the first responder community;
(iii) identify ways to ensure that State homeland security advisors, State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs), Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), Tribal Emergency Planning Committees (TEPCs), State regulators, and first responders have ready access to key information in a useable format, including by thoroughly reviewing categories of chemicals for which information is provided to first responders and the manner in which it is made available, so as to prevent, prepare for, and respond to chemical incidents;
(iv) identify areas, in collaboration with State, local, and tribal governments and private sector partners, where joint collaborative programs can be developed or enhanced, including by better integrating existing authorities, jurisdictional responsibilities, and regulatory programs in order to achieve a more comprehensive engagement on chemical risk management;
(v) identify opportunities and mechanisms to improve response procedures and to enhance information sharing and collaborative planning between chemical facility owners and operators, TEPCs, LEPCs, and first responders;
(vi) working with the National Response Team (NRT) and Regional Response Teams (RRTs), identify means for Federal technical assistance to support developing, implementing, exercising, and revising State, local, and tribal emergency contingency plans, including improved training; and
(vii) examine opportunities to improve public access to information about chemical facility risks consistent with national security needs and appropriate protection of confidential business information.
(b) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Attorney General, through the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), shall assess the feasibility of sharing data related to the storage of explosive materials with SERCs, TEPCs, and LEPCs.
(c) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall assess the feasibility of sharing Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) data with SERCs, TEPCs, and LEPCs on a categorical basis.
Sec. 4. Enhanced Federal Coordination. In order to enhance Federal coordination regarding chemical facility safety and security:
(a) Within 45 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall deploy a pilot program, involving the EPA, Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and any other appropriate agency, to validate best practices and to test innovative methods for Federal interagency collaboration regarding chemical facility safety and security. The pilot program shall operate in at least one region and shall integrate regional Federal, State, local, and tribal assets, where appropriate. The pilot program shall include innovative and effective methods of collecting, storing, and using facility information, stakeholder outreach, inspection planning, and, as appropriate, joint inspection efforts. The Working Group shall take into account the results of the pilot program in developing integrated standard operating procedures pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(b) Within 270 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall create comprehensive and integrated standard operating procedures for a unified Federal approach for identifying and responding to risks in chemical facilities (including during pre-inspection, inspection execution, post-inspection, and post-accident investigation activities), incident reporting and response procedures, enforcement, and collection, storage, and use of facility information. This effort shall reflect best practices and shall include agency-to-agency referrals and joint inspection procedures where possible and appropriate, as well as consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on post-accident response activities.
(c) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall consult with the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and determine what, if any, changes are required to existing memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and processes between EPA and CSB, ATF and CSB, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and CSB for timely and full disclosure of information. To the extent appropriate, the Working Group may develop a single model MOU with CSB in lieu of existing agreements.
Sec. 5. Enhanced Information Collection and Sharing. In order to enhance information collection by and sharing across agencies to support more informed decisionmaking, streamline reporting requirements, and reduce duplicative efforts:
(a) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall develop an analysis, including recommendations, on the potential to improve information collection by and sharing between agencies to help identify chemical facilities which may not have provided all required information or may be non-compliant with Federal requirements to ensure chemical facility safety. This analysis should consider ongoing data-sharing efforts, other federally collected information, and chemical facility reporting among agencies (including information shared with State, local, and tribal governments).
(b) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall produce a proposal for a coordinated, flexible data-sharing process which can be utilized to track data submitted to agencies for federally regulated chemical facilities, including locations, chemicals, regulated entities, previous infractions, and other relevant information. The proposal shall allow for the sharing of information with and by State, local, and tribal entities where possible, consistent with section 3 of this order, and shall address computer-based and non-computer-based means for improving the process in the short-term, if they exist.
(c) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall identify and recommend possible changes to streamline and otherwise improve data collection to meet the needs of the public and Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies (including those charged with protecting workers and the public), consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act and other relevant authorities, including opportunities to lessen the reporting burden on regulated industries. To the extent feasible, efforts shall minimize the duplicative collection of information while ensuring that pertinent information is shared with all key entities.
Sec. 6. Policy, Regulation, and Standards Modernization. (a) In order to enhance safety and security in chemical facilities by modernizing key policies, regulations, and standards, the Working Group shall:
(i) within 90 days of the date of this order, develop options for improved chemical facility safety and security that identifies improvements to existing risk management practices through agency programs,
(ii) within 90 days of developing the options described in subsection (a)(i) of this section, engage key stakeholders to discuss the options and other means to improve chemical risk management that may be available; and
(iii) within 90 days of completing the outreach and consultation effort described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section, develop a plan for implementing practical and effective improvements to chemical risk management identified pursuant to subsections (a)(i) and (ii) of this section.
(b) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Agriculture shall develop a list of potential regulatory and legislative proposals to improve the safe and secure storage, handling, and sale of ammonium nitrate and identify ways in which ammonium nitrate safety and security can be enhanced under existing authorities.
(c) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Administrator of EPA and the Secretary of Labor shall review the chemical hazards covered by the Risk Management Program (RMP) and the Process Safety Management Standard (PSM) and determine if the RMP or PSM can and should be expanded to address additional regulated substances and types of hazards. In addition, the EPA and the Department of Labor shall develop a plan, including a timeline and resource requirements, to expand, implement, and enforce the RMP and PSM in a manner that addresses the additional regulated substances and types of hazards.
(d) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall identify a list of chemicals, including poisons and reactive substances, that should be considered for addition to the CFATS Chemicals of Interest list.
(e) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Labor shall:
(i) identify any changes that need to be made in the retail and commercial grade exemptions in the PSM Standard; and
(ii) issue a Request for Information designed to identify issues related to modernization of the PSM Standard and related standards necessary to meet the goal of preventing major chemical accidents.
Sec. 7. Identification of Best Practices. The Working Group shall convene stakeholders, including chemical producers, chemical storage companies, agricultural supply companies, State and local regulators, chemical critical infrastructure owners and operators, first responders, labor organizations representing affected workers, environmental and community groups, and consensus standards organizations, in order to identify and share successes to date and best practices to reduce safety risks and security risks in the production and storage of potentially harmful chemicals, including through the use of safer alternatives, adoption of best practices, and potential public-private partnerships.
Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law, including international trade obligations, and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
August 1, 2013.
Too often in the Ammonia refrigeration industry the people tasked with creating and maintaining the Process Safety Management systems that cover our refrigeration systems are simply shown a collection of binders and told “Good Luck.” Most PSM practitioners we know have suffered this fate at least once in their careers and were nearly overwhelmed trying to make sense of reams of paperwork with little training and even fewer resources. GCAP set out to create this book as a guide that could be used as a basis of understanding for each new person “tossed to the wolves” in the PSM realm.
“Implementing Process Safety Management for Ammonia Refrigeration” was written for the exclusive use of Garden City Ammonia Program as a textbook for their Process Safety Management class and to outline a standard of educational material, guidelines, and best practices for the Ammonia industry. Brian D. Chapin was the project leader for the PSM/RMP book, with significant editorial input from Jeremy Williams and Randy Williams. Throughout the years we’ve all met hundreds of PSM practitioners and every one left at least one good idea with each of us; In some sense, the text presented here represents the collected wisdom of those hundreds of PSM practitioners operating thousands of facilities. Our focus is on real-world implementation; with due deference given to the practical needs of the facility, the requirements under the regulations and the challenges we face in an increasingly fast-paced and competitive business world.
Most of the PSM implementations in our industry rely on the IIAR’s Process Safety Management Guidelines for Ammonia Refrigeration and its companion Risk Management Program Guidelines for Ammonia Refrigeration. While we believe these books provided an excellent resource for their time, PSM implementation has continued to evolve rapidly in the years since they were published and they no longer reflect the “state of the art”. This book is an attempt to re-envision Process Safety Management implementation based on the experiences of the Ammonia refrigeration industry over the past 15+ years.
OSHA’s NEP or National Emphasis Program (and the fines that came with it) has served to highlight the deficiencies in the way Process Safety Management for Ammonia refrigeration is currently implemented. The NEP draws from PSM experience in the chemical process and petroleum refinery sectors, so we have adopted some of the ideas and approaches present in the excellent Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) books to improve the system first presented by the IIAR considerably. We believe that the IIAR is still the appropriate source for information regarding the proper design, installation, maintenance, and operation of mechanical Ammonia refrigeration systems; however we turn to the CCPS and other organizations for guidance on how the Process Safety Management programs that cover these systems should be designed and implemented.
We at GCAP thank you for investing your time in our Process Safety Management course. When you attend a GCAP course you are joining a family of over 10,000 Ammonia professionals throughout the world. Please always think of the GCAP team as a resource at your disposal when you have questions about PSM implementation or any Ammonia refrigeration topic.
Your ability to effectively coordinate, your dedication, your talents and your hard work will be the deciding factors in your PSM implementation. Process Safety Management is a “Team Sport” and while many teams have star players, everyone’s contribution is invaluable if the team is to reach their goals. The oft-repeated line “A bad system will beat a good employee every time” is absolutely true when it comes to PSM implementation so remember that the Process Safety Management system you implement in your facility must reflect both the unique needs of that facility and its personnel.