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Why Do I Need a PSM Compliance Audit? | Blog No. 37



Understanding Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance Audits


In industrial settings, a Process Safety Management (PSM) compliance audit verifies the adequacy and adherence to PSM procedures and practices within a facility. This audit serves to ensure compliance with regulations, pinpoint areas for enhancement, and provide recommendations for improvement. OSHA mandates that employers certify PSM compliance at least every three years.


The Purpose and Origin of PSM


Established by OSHA in 1992, the PSM standard was created to improve workplace safety, particularly in industries handling hazardous chemicals. This regulatory framework emerged in response to significant industrial incidents that underlined the necessity for stricter safety measures. These incidents demonstrated the severe consequences of accidental releases of hazardous chemicals, including multiple injuries and fatalities.


The PSM standard encompasses various sectors, including processes involving flammable liquids and gasses and 137 specified hazardous chemicals. Its primary objective is to prevent the release of hazardous materials and mitigate the potential impacts on workers, the public, and the environment.


PSM Compliance Audit Process


During a PSM compliance audit, auditors carefully review a facility's procedures and practices related to PSM. This includes examining documentation, conducting interviews, and inspecting operations to assess compliance with PSM requirements. The audit aims to ensure that safety protocols are effectively implemented and maintained, identifying any gaps or areas needing improvement.


The Importance of PSM Compliance Audits


Staying compliant with PSM isn't just about safety—it's also about avoiding hefty fines from EPA and OSHA audits. Recent trends show increased OSHA enforcement activities since 2009. The average penalty for serious violations has also risen significantly, particularly impacting the cold chain and food and beverage industries. In the past years, several large companies suffered enormous fines from OSHA and EPA violations. These fines can range from just a few thousand dollars, all the way up to millions. According to the OSHA website, some companies faced fines higher than $3M, the most being $81.3M. 


Every facility will face inspections. Proper documentation is essential; if actions aren't documented, the regulator will penalize your facility as if they were never completed. Maintaining and implementing safety plans prepares you for OSHA inspections. Having a proactive strategy can mitigate potential penalties and demonstrate compliance efforts.


Why Choose Macha PSM for Your PSM Compliance Audit?


Macha PSM specializes in ammonia refrigeration and has extensive experience in the ammonia refrigeration industry. We are certified and preferred vendors of APSM, and we are dedicated to upholding the highest standards in safety and compliance. Our team continuously updates our procedures to align with the latest regulatory changes, ensuring your facility remains current and compliant.


Macha PSM Compliance Audit leaders have completed the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Process Safety Management Audits for Compliance and Continuous Safety Improvement course. The course emphasizes assessing whether a facility is complying with the provisions of PSM and RMP, gauging the extent a facility has implemented the requirements of PSM, developing an appropriate audit scope to match the resources available to conduct a compliance audit, and conducting effective interviews as an element for assessing implementation of a PSM program. We also guarantee that your audits are well documented. Using tools like APSM, we provide crisp, clear, and comprehensive documentation so you can be prepared, and well informed of recommendations and potential hazards. 


Use our online estimator tool to get a free, instant quote for your next 3-Year Compliance Audit: https://www.machapsm.com/compliance-audit-estimator


If you are ready to schedule your next PSM Compliance Audit, contact me at micah@machapsm.com or give me a call at (256) 871-5627. If you aren’t sure about Macha PSM, I’d at least like to offer you a free quote and answer any questions you may have.



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