Ask the Expert – Allen Mires and Process Safety Managment

Allen Mires serves as Sr. Health & Safety Specialist at EHS Support. As our Process Safety Management (PSM) expert, he works closely with clients to conduct comprehensive inspections under the PSM standard that evaluate the procedures used by the client and other stakeholders to manage the hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals.

In simple terms, what is Process Safety Management (PSM)?

PSM is a safety management system for a process that contains a highly hazardous chemical. The management system consists of different elements that are listed in the OSHA General Industry Standards (CFR 1910.119). If a company has a process containing a highly hazardous chemical, listed as such in the standard, and in a quantity equal or greater than what is listed in the standard, the company is required by the standard to follow the Process Safety Management System outlined in the standard.

So, is PSM only for companies that have highly hazardous chemicals?

PSM is a safety management system. Even if a company is not required by standard to have a PSM program, there are different elements within PSM that are considered “best practices” companies should have as part of their safety system to ensure the health and safety of the people at their facility and the environment.

Why is it important?

The primary importance of PSM is obviously the safety of the employees who work on the process and those that could be affected if something went wrong within the process. PSM is a methodology that provides documented risk assessments, materials, controls, procedures, and changes used to manage the highly hazardous chemical within the process. PSM manages every aspect of the process to ensure the highly hazardous chemical “stays in the pipe” and isn’t released or controlled where it could cause harm to people or the environment.

What is your specific PSM expertise?

My strongest area within PSM is program auditing. I have several years of experience in developing, writing, and auditing the different program elements of the PSM standard. I am also an expert and hold certification in the area of Process Hazard Analysis. Relying on over two decades of occupational health and safety experience, I am able to recognize potential hazards or at least ask the appropriate questions to build a strong analysis of potential hazards.

What type of PSM guidance does EHS Support provide?

We can provide guidance in every element of Process Safety Management. From the development of a new PSM program for a new process, program development within the PSM standards, compliance auditing, program reviews, Management of Change tracking, and leading Process Hazard Analysis or providing revalidation of PHAs, which is required every five years. We can also provide clients who don’t fall under the PSM standards with “best practice” programs and procedures that will enhance their safety management system.

To learn more about Process Safety Management, contact Allen today.



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