Process Safety Management in Colombia: A State-of-the-Art Review | AIChE

Process Safety Management in Colombia: A State-of-the-Art Review

Process Safety Management PSM has become highly relevant in recent decades at a global level, and several emerging countries in the Latam region have adopted this vanguard into their policies. The article presents a review of the development of PSM legislations in Colombia based on articles, decrees and resolutions related to Process Safety PS and the implications that these legislations may lead to. As a brief explanation of the content, in the last decade, Colombia has evolved with giant steps in PS. The biggest one was given after it joined the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD. The OECD recommended that Colombia, among other recommendations, should manage the prevention, preparation and response to chemical accidents. From this event, it was born the PPAM Programa de Prevención de Accidentes Mayores, developed by the Ministry of Labor via Decreto 1347 de 2021. The PPAM institutes the guidelines that shall be met by companies with classified facilities, locations that exceed the threshold quiantity of chemicals established in the decree. The PPAM demands that organizations with classified facilities shall develop some elements, one of them, is the SG-SPAM Sistema de Gestion de la Seguridad para la Prevención de Accidentes Mayores articulated with the SG-SST Sistema de Gestión de la Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo. This article compares in general terms the SG-SPAM structure with PSM-OSHA’s, as the first one is the ‘Local Process Safety Management’. In this work, great challenges are identified for the Ministry of Labor regarding PS legislations in Colombia: to carry out regulations that dictate the minimum requirements that each element of the SG-SPAM system must achieve; to avoid duplication of requirements between the different existing regulations that are related to either the PPAM or the SG-SPAM; and to research and regulate, along the years, the optimal threshold quantity to classify a facility considering the reality of the country's industry: weighing the economic impact that it costs to implement the PPAM in a corporation - and other factors, versus the risk present towards workers, communities and environment in facilities that process/stores Highly Hazardous Chemicals HHC. Finally, conclusions of the study convey that Colombia is evolving in the right direction; this opens a great path for the nation, from the Ministry of Labor up to the companies operators, who in their day to day, are dealing with the handling of high-risk processes.


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