OSHA's process safety management standard (PSM) has significant gaps in coverage of reactive hazards because it is based on a limited list of individual chemicals with inherently reactive properties, according to the board.
Given the impact and diversity of reactive hazards, "optimum progress in the prevention of reactive incidents requires both enhanced regulatory and nonregulatory programs," according to the board's report.
Forty-eight of these incidents resulted in a total of 108 fatalities. The data include an average of six injury-related incidents per year, resulting in an average of five fatalities annually. Nearly 50 of the 167 incidents affected the public, and more than 50 percent involved chemicals not covered by existing OSHA or EPA process safety regulations.