Limiting OSHA’s Authority to Issue Citations (Court Rejects OSHA’s Efforts to Evade OSH Act Statute of Limitations by Alleging Continuing Violation)

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    March 28, 2017
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • PDHs:
    0.50

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The Rapidly Changing Regulatory Environment Concerning Agency and Judicial Enforcement of OSHA’s PSM Standard and EPA’s RMP Rule

Over the last two years, OSHA has issued five interpretation guidance documents that have attempted to expand the scope of the PSM standard. These documents have addressed RAGAGEP, the 1% mixture rule, the retail exemption, storage facilities, and small businesses. In doing so, OSHA has changed many of its interpretations and rescinded prior guidance, and this presentation will explain the current interpretations that OSHA will now seek to enforce.

Over the same time period, OSHA has brought three enforcement actions based on aggressive interpretations of the PSM standard that (1) expand the meaning of “interconnection” and “process equipment,” (2) permit OSHA to interpret industry documents and then enforce those interpretations, and (3) define PSM violations as “continuing violations.” We are waiting for the courts to issue their rulings on these issues. If OSHA’s interpretations are upheld, this presentation will explain the rulings and how the PSM standard will subsequently be enforced.

In May 2016, EPA accepted comments on its proposed amendments to the RMP rule concerning third party audits, incident investigations, safer technology, and emergency response. EPA has said it will release its revised rule by January 2017. This presentation will also outline the major changes in the revised RMP rule, if it is issued.

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