How do you create user-friendly documentation that complies with Process Safety Management (PSM) 3132 requirements?
It’s not a trick question, even though it may appear that way.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all natural gas processing facilities maintain operating procedures that meet OSHA PSM standards. The documents that detail and outline these procedures can often appear cumbersome and daunting, and this is a very good indication that operators and technicians may opt not use them—and they will end up on a shelf gathering dust. For many companies, those binders are very expensive décor objects if you consider the time and effort from everyone involved just to create them.
Let us just tell you—it doesn’t have to be this way.
We see you shaking your head in disagreement, but it’s true—documentation can meet regulatory requirements and still be easy to navigate, understand, and use.
OSHA regulations require specific topics, such as equipment lists, pressure safety valve lists, valve positions, alarm responses, and consequence of deviation to be addressed in writing. PSM 3132 outlines the requirements, but it does not tell a company how to document them.
Often, in an effort just to make sure everything is documented, engineers, technicians, and operators simply put everything and anything that may be relevant into a basic word format, print it, put it in a binder, and call it done. Sure, that’s definitely one way to do it—if you are willing to have one deethanizer and amine PSM 3132-compliant document that racks up more than 600 pages.
What if we told you that this 600-page document could be broken down into shorter, individual documents for each sub‑system? Not only that, but that all duplicate and redundant information can be removed and alarm response tables reformatted so that the operators and technicians can find information quickly?
How about if we add the cherry on top and tell you that by doing the above activities you can not only maintain PSM compliance, but that you can have documents that are frequently used vital pieces of plant equipment? We don’t know about you, but we think that’s pretty handy.
And don’t worry: you can always print an extra copy to put on your shelf if you need office decoration!
For more information about PSM 3132, go to https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3132.htm