Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Chemicals get a bad reaction in Washington

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Regulation of reactive chemicals has been debated for years. According to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s (CSB) 2002 report, there have been 167 serious reactive chemical accidents during the past two decades, and 108 people were killed in 48 of the incidents. Despite the debate, neither legislative nor regulatory action is expected any time soon.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates highly hazardous chemicals, including reactives, under its standard on Process Safety Management (PSM). The PSM standard is intended to protect workers from hazards associated with catastrophic releases of “toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive chemicals” and applies to processes that use more than a threshold quantity of any of 137 listed chemicals.

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