OSHA standards


Over time, the accidental release of reactive and flammable toxins that are highly hazardous have been reported from industries that use chemicals (Blair, 2007). This practice increases a potentially pose a significant risk of environmental pollution. Harmful chemicals released into the environment exposes health of workers in such a situation to toxic chemicals. The process safety management (PSM) which involves hazard analysis provides detailed review and instruction of what could go wrong and safety measures that can help prevent the release of the harmful chemicals.  To ensure safety, OSHA standards emphasizes effective hazard management. The guidelines contain comprehensive management programs, integrating technologies, adequate procedures, and management practices (Luo, 2010).

Often chemical properties of oxidizers have significant potentials of causing fire, explosions or formation of harmful substances (Talmage et al., 2007). For instance, the chemical reaction that comes as a result of mixing nitric acid with organic compounds leads to explosions and detonations which is as a result of concurrent oxidation and nitration reaction. Additionally, the literature shows that the response of perchloric acid with organic bases forms harmful perchlorate salts. However, oxidizing agents are useful in many industrial processes. Nitric acid is essential in the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilizers, sulfuric acid, and extraction of metals. Some oxidizing agents are used in baking, wet textile processing, and rubber vulcanization. According to the global system of chemical classification and labeling, oxidizers are categorized into three including solids, liquids, and gases with a distinct level of toxicity. Most oxidizers are highly flammable.

Occupational limits are upper limits of acceptable concentration of hazardous substances in workplaces. Sometimes they are called permissible exposure limit. It was set by the competent national authorities to protect occupational safety as well as health. It is an essential tool in risk assessment and management of activities that involve handling of dangerous substances.  Hazard banding is an example of a strategy suitable for safe handling. There are different types of limits;  Threshold Limit Value, Threshold Limit Value,  and Ceiling (Aziz et al., 2014). Hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and nitric acid are examples of active oxidizers. Hydrogen peroxide, as an oxidizer, has a primary role of increasing the rate of flammability of materials. It has an exposure limit for this is 1 ppm PEL and 75 ppm IDLH. Nitric acid that is highly flammable has a 2 ppm PEL as its exposure limit. Therefore, it is good to find a substitute with the same attributes but of fewer health effects.  Chlorine is another most reactive oxidizers that sanitize the water, to kill bacteria and another harmful microorganism. Chlorine contains compounds like hypochlorites and dichlorocyanurates that can react with chemicals to release toxic gases. Therefore they should be stored away from other chemicals inadequately sealed containers as well as scoops that have not been used with any other compound.

From the harmful effects of the substances used in the workplace, the PSM requirement is needed to reduce the possible harm of the chemicals. Measures used to minimize the adverse impact include developing and maintaining information and labels of chemicals, process equipment and technology used at the workplace is essential. Information about chemicals used such as toxicity, reactivity, and corrosivity data is necessary.  Continuous workplace assessment such as potential sources for accidental release of substances should be monitored. Keeping a well-established system of response to workplace hazards. Periodical review of the workplace hazard assessment and response systems. Conduct pre-start-up safety reviews. Establish quality assurance procedures; and Adequate implementation of the written operation procedures of the chemical process in the industry.

In a recap, the PSM procedures are essential. They promise numerous advantage not only to the workers at their workplace but also on work efficiency and the surrounding community. This process increases the productivity of the facility using limited resources (energy) by enhancing employee participation. The compliance audits, integrity and trade secrets,  it will consider alternative avenues of decreasing the risks associated with outdoor water contamination. Moreover, it will improve the continuity of operations and processes within the company; it will also play a critical role in loss prevention and mitigation.




Aziz, H. A., Shariff, A. M., & Rusli, R. (2014). Managing process safety information based on process safety management requirements. Process Safety Progress, 33(1), 41–48. JOUR.

Blair, A. S. (2007). Dust explosion incidents and regulations in the United States. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 20(4–6), 523–529. JOUR.

Luo, H. (2010). The effectiveness of US OSHA process safety management inspection–A preliminary quantitative evaluation. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 23(3), 455–461. JOUR.

Talmage, S. S., Watson, A. P., Hauschild, V., Munro, N. B., & King, J. (2007). Chemical warfare agent degradation and decontamination. Current Organic Chemistry, 11(3), 285–298. JOUR.