Downloadable Process Safety Management (PSM) Checklists

Ensure regulatory compliance and workplace safety before starting any operating procedures using PSM checklists.

What is a Process Safety Management Checklist?

A process safety management checklist is a simple yet effective tool to ensure workplace safety and compliance regarding hazardous chemicals. It outlines the safety protocols and procedures for identifying, evaluating, and mitigating risks associated with complex operations involving highly toxic substances.

A well-structured process safety management checklist improves not only workplace safety but also operational efficiency by maintaining consistent safety practices and measures in line with industry regulations.

Benefits of Using a PSM Checklist

Using a checklist aids in better identifying and analyzing hazards to keep your workers safe before they engage in their tasks. Here are key important reasons why organizations use this checklist on a regular basis. Such benefits include the following:

Risk Assessment and Management

PSM is conducted before a task may be engaged by workers. Risk assessment and management usually pairs with this process, by detailing potential risks and emergency preparedness.

Enhanced Safety

A PSM audit checklist reduces the likelihood of accidents and incidents by identifying and mitigating potential hazards. As this ensures that all safety protocols and procedures are consistently followed, this checklist can thereby create a safer working environment and even foster a culture of safety within the organization.

Improved Efficiency

A PSM audit checklist streamlines safety processes and maintains consistency across operations. A standardized checklist improves overall operational efficiency by reducing the time and effort required to monitor and enforce safety protocols. This structured approach to safety management also helps organizations achieve higher productivity by avoiding operational disruptions.

Regulatory Compliance

Using a PSM checklist helps organizations comply with industry regulations and standards, thus avoiding fines and legal issues. In fact, OSHA requires proper management of industrial processes involving chemicals when certain thresholds are met or exceeded. Therefore, a PSM compliance audit checklist provides a documented trail of safety measures and procedures, which is useful during audits and inspections.

What to Include in a PSM Checklist

Fundamentally, a process safety management checklist should contain the 14 PSM elements:

  • Process Safety Information (PSI)
  • Operating Procedures
  • Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
  • Employee Participation
  • Training
  • Contractors
  • Mechanical Integrity
  • Incident Investigation
  • Management of Change (MOC)
  • Pre-Startup Safety Review
  • Emergency Planning and Response
  • Hot Work Permit
  • Compliance Audits
  • Trade Secrets

You can use this list as a guide if you wish to make multiple PSM checklists that vary depending on the needs of each department.

To make your checklist more comprehensive, there are other items and functionalities that you can incorporate into your checklist, such as the following:

  • Technology integration – Explore and implement new technologies that enhance process safety, such as real-time monitoring systems and predictive analytics.
  • Lessons learned and best practices – A checklist can also have a system for capturing and sharing lessons learned from safety incidents and near-misses.
  • Safety culture assessment – Include metrics to assess employee attitudes towards safety, reporting behaviors, and overall safety climate.
  • Emergency communication systems – Include procedures for internal and external communication during emergencies

How to Create an Effective Process Safety Management Checklist

Follow these steps to create a comprehensive and effective process safety management checklist that enhances safety, ensures compliance, and supports continuous improvement in your organization:.

1. Research regulatory requirements

Start by understanding relevant industry standards and regulations. While the OSHA regulations have been mentioned earlier, there are other guidelines on hazardous waste that you need to follow, such as those from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other local government directives regarding toxic substances to cover all bases regarding compliance.

2. Assemble a team

Form a team of internal experts within the company that includes safety managers, engineers, and operations personnel. Clearly define each role and responsibility to ensure an organized and collaborative approach to developing the checklist.

3. Conduct a hazard analysis

Perform a thorough hazard identification using methods like Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) or Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). Then, evaluate the severity and likelihood of identified hazards to prioritize safety efforts effectively.

4. Develop safety procedures.

Outline Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for both normal and emergency operations. Include maintenance procedures to ensure mechanical integrity checks are covered comprehensively.

5. Create the checklist

Organize the checklist into sections based on the 14 PSM elements. Include detailed, actionable items under each section, such as “Conduct a HAZOP study annually” or “Review SOPs every six months.”

6. Implement training programs

Develop training modules based on the checklist items and ensure all employees understand and can effectively implement the safety procedures. Regular training reinforces safety protocols and enhances the overall safety culture.

7. Establish monitoring and reporting

Set up monitoring systems to track compliance with the checklist using software solutions. Implement reporting mechanisms for documenting and tracking safety incidents and near misses to ensure continuous improvement.

8. Review and update regularly

Schedule regular reviews of the checklist at least annually or whenever significant changes occur in processes or regulations. However, the best time for review is always after an incident is reported. Also, incorporate feedback from employees to enhance the checklist’s effectiveness and relevance.

9. Document and communicate

Maintain thorough documentation of all safety procedures, training sessions, and audit results. Ensure any updates to the checklist are communicated clearly to all relevant personnel to establish consistency and compliance.

10. Audit and improve

Conduct regular internal audits to assess compliance with the checklist. Use audit findings and feedback to continuously improve the checklist and safety processes, ensuring your organization remains proactive in managing process safety.

Process Safety Management Checklist Sample Report

See below what an OSHA PSM audit checklist report looks like:

FAQs about PSM Compliance Audit Checklists

Safety managers, engineers, field supervisors, compliance officers, and frontline workers are responsible for managing and facilitating the use of process safety management audit checklists. They’re in charge of ensuring that safety protocols are up-to-date, conducting hazard evaluations, and verifying regulatory compliance.

A PSM checklist should be reviewed annually and whenever there are significant changes to processes or regulations. Reviews should also occur after safety incidents or near-misses. Regular updates ensure protocols remain current and effective. Engaging employees in the review process provides practical insights, enhancing the checklist’s comprehensiveness.

Yes, it can and should be customized. Customization ensures that the checklist is relevant to the unique aspects of each operation, complies with applicable regulations, and integrates industry best practices. Therefore, customization enhances the scope and effectiveness of the checklist.

Ramon Meris
Article by

Ramon Meris

SafetyCulture Content Specialist
Ramon is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture. He has written articles on a wide range of health, safety, and operational topics. His professional background in investment banking and academic training in the humanities enable him to create informative and engaging content that aims to promote workplace safety and efficiency across multiple industries.

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