PSM is not DIY – Why you Actually Need an Expert

With endless how-to videos and tutorials at our fingertips, anyone can imagine themselves as an amateur designer, plumber, etc. Yet, how many times have you started a home improvement DIY project and halfway through regretted not hiring a professional? This is what approaching Process Safety Management (PSM) without training, knowledge, and experience is like…but with significantly higher stakes. When it comes to PSM and all of its complexities, you do, in fact, need to call in the professionals.

Too often companies fall into the trap of viewing Process Safety Management as simply conducting a compliance audit and then forgetting about it until the next one comes around; that simply is not the case. A robust PSM program involves daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tracking and management of the 14 program safety elements required by OSHA. Each of the required 14 program safety elements are interconnected yet come with their own specific requirements and timelines; a seemingly small change in operating procedures can have a ripple effect on numerous other elements. This then requires additional documentation, tracking, reporting, updates to procedures, and training.

A significant amount of time, effort, and knowledge goes into managing each of these elements for your site as well as keeping up on any updates to compliance regulations ( e.g., Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: RMP Standards Have Significant Changes in 2024 – EHS Support ( Considering this, it seems obvious that there should be a dedicated, PSM expert permanently on staff. While this would be ideal, in practice we recognize that this is not always a reality.

Downsizing, restructuring, and turnover can often leave companies scrambling for coverage. Naturally, in these situations the focus often turns to the day-to-day operating tasks, and larger picture processes can respectively be put on the back burner. Even if PSM is considered, roles may be divided up or given to individuals who either cannot devote the time and attention needed or are not appropriately trained and prepared. Unfortunately, when it comes to PSM, even if you are maintaining some areas, other elements may be falling behind. While it may be possible to fly under the radar briefly, one visit from EPA or OSHA can cause chaos to erupt. Finding yourself in this situation could possibly lead to hefty fines as well as an expansive and expensive journey to get back on track.

Don’t let compliance slip through the cracks. If you are unable to employ a dedicated PSM professional, seek outside professional help. EHS Support has the experts available to ensure your process management stays safe and up to date. Our team understands the complex regulations and works closely with clients to develop comprehensive process safety management solutions that meet EPA and OSHA’s standards and ensure the safety of all stakeholders.

To learn more, contact EHS Support Sr. Health & Safety Specialist Allen Mires and leave DIY where it belongs!



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