You should frequently get recommendations for improving your PSM program through the PSM elements of Employee Participation, Process Hazard Analysis, Incident Investigations, Mechanical Integrity audits, Compliance Audits. Often, these recommendations are worthwhile improvements to your system that are worthy of your consideration. Eventually (and as soon as reasonably possible) you should “resolve” the recommendation. How do you go about that? OSHA’s CPL 2.2-45A offers some excellent guidance:
OSHA considers an employer to have “resolved” the team’s findings and recommendations when the employer either has adopted the recommendations, or has justifiably declined to do so. Where a recommendation is rejected, the employer must communicate this to the team, and expeditiously resolve any subsequent recommendations of the team.
An employer can justifiably decline to adopt a recommendation where the employer can document, in writing and based upon adequate evidence, that one or more of the following conditions is true:
- The analysis upon which the recommendation is based contains material factual errors;
- The recommendation is not necessary to protect the health and safety of the employer’s own employees, or the employees of contractors;
- An alternative measure would provide a sufficient level of protection; or
- The recommendation is infeasible.
Leaving open recommendations in your program is nothing less than providing a road-map to OSHA and the EPA for citations.