OSHA Delays Enforcement of PSM Standards for “Retail” Employers

Posted on 1/4/2016 by Roger Marks

In a new Interim Enforcement Policy dated December 23, 2015, OSHA extended the deadline for newly covered “retail” facilities to address elements under OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard. The new deadline for these retail facilities is September 30, 2016.  

The extended deadline replaces the initial deadline announced on July 22, 2015 (and later extended) in a memo titled Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals and Application of the Retail Exemption (29 CFR 1910.119(a)(2)(i). In this policy, OSHA revised its definition of “retail” facilities subject to PSM requirements to clarify that the PSM retail exemption applies only to facilities that fall in NAICS Codes 44 and 45, “retail trade.” 

Timeline of New PSM Requirements for “Retail Facilities”

July 22, 2015—OSHA announces that some “retail” facilities are no longer exempt from meeting the requirements of the Process Safety Management Standard. OSHA gives newly covered retail establishments six months to comply.

October 20, 2015—OSHA extends the deadline for newly covered retail facilities to comply with the PSM Standard until July 22, 2016.

December 23, 2015—OSHA again extends the deadline, this time giving newly covered retail facilities until September 30, 2016 to comply with the PSM Standard. 

OSHA Process Safety Management or PSM

Who the Retail PSM Exemption Affects

Businesses in NAICS Codes 44 and 45 that may be subject to PSM requirements include gas stations, retail, auto parts dealers, and building materials vendors.

The 2015 interpretation replaces OSHA’s 1992 definition of retail facility exempt from PSM requirements as an “establishment which would otherwise be subject to the PSM standards at which more than half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users.”

Facilities Already Covered Under EPA RMP Rules

Many of the requirements for OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard are covered if facilities are already in compliance with US EPA’s Risk Management Planning (RMP) requirements at 40 CFR 68. Programs already in place for RMP compliance may need to be expanded to address any OSHA PSM element or sub-element not already covered.

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