DEKRA Process Safety

OSHA Chemical National Emphasis Program (NEP)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, recently issued a new directive for a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to address chemical facilities covered under OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) regulation. This NEP, described in OSHA directive CPL 02-09-06, is effective July 27, 2009 and will last for one year, after which it will be evaluated for renewal.

Who does the NEP Apply to?

You are a target of this OSHA National Emphasis Program if all 3 of the following apply:

  1. You are located in the OSHA Regions I, VII, or X
  2. You have one of the following PSM covered processes at your facility:
    • Process that uses ammonia or chlorine
    • Process that has received prior PSM citations
    • Process that submitted an EPA Program 3 Risk Management Plan (RMP)
    • Process that manufactures explosives
  3. You do NOT fall within the following categories:
    • Are a participant in OSHA’s VPP or SHARP programs
    • Are an oil refinery (NAICS Code 32411)
    • Have had a comprehensive PSM inspection within the last 2 years.

This OSHA National Emphasis Program will also be used if:

  • A formal complaint is filed against you involving a PSM covered process.
  • An accident occurs at your site involving a PSM covered process.
  • Your site is included in OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting (SST) Plan.

What are some details of the NEP?

The NEP is being described as a pilot program outlining a new approach for conducting site inspections. Part of the new approach is to focus on whether a company’s written PSM program is actually being implemented. As quoted in the directive….”OSHA has found that employers may have an extensive written [PSM] program, but insufficient program implementation”.

This new approach is also designed to increase the number of PSM inspections by limiting the inspection process to specific, predetermined questions rather than general questions as outlined in the PSM regulation compliance directive CPL-02-02-045.

This NEP is being referred to as a pilot program because it will apply to “programmed” inspections in the following 3 OSHA Regions only:

  • Region I Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
  • Region VII Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri
  • Region X Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho

By “programmed”, OSHA means planned inspections that are based on objective criteria as defined in the CPL 02-00-148 Field Operations Manual.

However, OSHA states this NEP will also be used in the other OSHA regions for:

  • “Unprogrammed” inspections, i.e., those resulting from a formal complaint or an accident involving a PSM covered chemical.
  • Facilities identified in OSHA’s SST Plan.

Some specific points about this NEP:

  • The inspections will be distributed between 3 categories as follows:
    Category PSM Process % of Inspections
    1 Use ammonia for refrigeration 25
    2 Use chlorine for water treatment 25
    3 All other PSM processes 50
  • Contractors (and subcontractors) working on or adjacent to PSM covered processes will be included in the walkaround part of the inspection.
  • OSHA inspectors will use a predetermined set of questions developed internally. This set of questions, referred to as a “dynamic list”, will be periodically changed based on the inspection results.
  • The Dynamic List of questions will not be available to the public.
  • The Dynamic List of questions will be developed for 5 categories:
    • PSM General
    • Ammonia Refrigeration
    • Water and/or Wastewater Treatment
    • Storage
    • Chemical Processing

What can I expect during the Inspection?

The inspection follows the same protocol as explained in OSHA’s Field Operations Manual, including an opening conference, document review, and facility walkaround.

There are some differences, however. These differences have to do with the fact that the inspection is PSM focused. Therefore, the information requested by the OSHA compliance officers will be PSM related information, such as:

  • Contractor employee injury and illness logs.
  • Process Safety Information (PSI) specified in the OSHA PSM standard.
  • A list of employees assigned to the PSM covered processes.
  • The initial PHA

How can DEKRA help you prepare for the inspection?

Preparing for an inspection using this NEP is similar to preparing for any other OSHA inspection, as the inspection follows the same protocol. However, because an inspection under this NEP is more targeted, your preparation can also be more targeted. DEKRA can assist you in your preparation by:

  • Conducting a gap analysis of your PSM program to identify areas where your actual PSM implementation practices do not match your written program
  • Recommend solutions to outstanding Corrective Actions from previous PHAs, incident investigations, audit findings, and PSM citations.
  • Conduct a mock inspection following the NEP protocol and typical questions similar to what could be expected in OSHA’s Dynamic List.

DEKRA offers a one day training course to assist you in preparing for this newly issued OSHA PSM Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program (NEP) targeted inspection. In addition, we have a team of highly skilled process safety professionals that can provide independent, objective advice on improving your Process Safety Management (PSM) program.

For assistance regarding OSHA NEP for PSM Covered Chemical Facilities, please contact us at Tel: 609-799-4449, Fax: 609-799-5559 or email.


OSHA Combustible Dust NEP Services

To request a quotation regarding “OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (CPL-03-00-008) Services”, please click below:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, has issued a directive (CPL 03-00-006) effective March 11, 2008, with re-issue on October 1, 2015.

Previously, the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) had found that “...combustible dust explosions are a serious hazard in American industry, and ... existing efforts inadequately address this hazard” (ref: “Investigation Report – Combustible Dust Hazard Study”, Report No. 2006-H-1, November 2006). The CSB study examined the record and literature to assess the magnitude of the dust explosion hazard and found that 281 combustible dust incidents were reported in the 25-year period ending in 2005. These incidents were responsible for 119 fatalities, 718 injuries, and millions of dollars in lost facilities and productivity.

You are a target of the OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) if:

  • You are covered by the OSHA Safety and Health standards,
  • You handle or process combustible dusts and powders including (but not limited to):
    • Metal dust, such as aluminum and magnesium,
    • Wood dust,
    • Coal and other carbonaceous dust,
    • Plastic dust and additives,
    • Biosolids,
    • Other organic dusts, such as sugar, paper, soap, and dried blood,
    • Certain textile materials

OSHA is creating an all-inclusive listing of facilities that handle combustible dusts from its facility-classification lists, including specific Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. These applicable classification codes are provided in a Table included in the OSHA NEP document; a download is available here.

Many types of industrial activities will be listed, including: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, agriculture, forest and furniture products, metal processing, tire and rubber manufacturing, coal dust, and recycling operations.

When inspecting a site as part of the NEP, OSHA inspectors will focus on using specific guideline documents from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 68, 69, 85, 484, 499, 654, and 664) and FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 7-76. These NFPA codes and standards were discussed in a previous DEKRA “Focus” article available here. Your knowledge and good faith application of these standards will be critically important to the NEP inspection.

OSHA Combustible Dusts NEP Inspection and Citation Procedures

The procedures include:

  • Assessment of the combustible dust threat to employees:
    • Do Safety Data Sheets indicate a combustibility or explosibility hazard of powders or dusts?
    • What is the site history of fires and explosions involving dust?
    • Are there accumulations greater than 1/32 inch (0.8 millimeter) anywhere?
  • Audit of the adequacy of dust management practices:
    • Containment within equipment
    • Local exhaust ventilation at dust-release locations, to dust collectors
    • Housekeeping program, with appropriate methods and frequencies
    • Appropriate classification for vacuum cleaners and vacuum-cleaning systems
  • Audit of the program for ignition source control:
    • Bonding and grounding of equipment, ductwork, and hoses
    • Electrical classification (Class II) and appropriate Division (1 or 2) or Zones 20, 21, or 22
    • Separation devices for foreign materials
    • Hot work program
    • Smoking prohibitions
  • Audit of the design and protection against fire and explosion:
    • Equipment such as dust collectors, bucket elevators, silos and bins, mixers and blenders
    • Isolations between equipment items and operating areas
    • Rooms and buildings
  • Collection of samples of combustible dusts for laboratory analysis:
    • From high places, on structural members, on ductwork, on lighting fixtures, above ceilings.
    • From floors and on equipment surfaces
    • From accumulations within ductwork, and from dust collectors
  • Citation of facilities based on the above and test results using one or more of the following OSHA standards:
    • General Duty Clause Section 5(a)(1) Provide a workplace that is free of recognized fire and explosion hazards.
    • If grain facility: 29 CFR 1910.272 grain handling standard
    • Ventilation standard 29 CFR 1910.94 covering abrasive blasting, grinding, polishing and buffing operations
    • Housekeeping if not a grain facility, 29 CFR 1910.22 or 1910.176 for storage areas
    • If coal handling: 29 CFR 1910.269(v)(11)(vii)
    • Personal protective equipment standard 29 CFR 1910.132(a) if personnel could be exposed to a flash fire hazard.
    • Process Safety Management violations under 29 CFR 1910.119
    • Electrical area classification violations for Class II (dust) or Class III (flock) areas, by 29 CFR 1910.307 or 1910.399.
    • Other standards as listed in the NEP document

To request a quotation regarding “OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (CPL-03-00-008) Services”, please click below:

process safety consulting

Listed below are recent case studies that our Process Safety Specialists have completed. These are available in PDF format for you to read and download.

Case Study 1 – Commodity Chemical Reclassification to Allow for Safe and Compliant Distribution

Case Study 2 – Thermal Stability Involving Storage and Transport

Case Study 3 – Corrosion Analysis of Materials at Process Conditions

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader please click here to download it.

process safety consulting

First-Line obligates Chilworth to (1) provide you and others at your facility with instant handling of your questions and (2) issue written responses within two hours. The service handles the numerous questions about process safety and related issues that often demand your attention and interrupt your focus on other projects. First-Line relieves the information burden by bringing on board the safety, engineering, manufacturing, and research personnel at your entire facility for a nominal cost.

The traditional method of working with Chilworth is still available to you (call when you have questions about a specific project and we’ll talk with you for however long it takes.) But use First-Line to include your entire facility in the consulting process. First-Line is an incredibly good research tool for employees – unlimited phone calls, faxes, and e-mails to recognized experts in the process safety field and all of it pre-approved by your purchasing office.

Any safety meeting is enhanced by an announcement that your company has arranged for First-Line service. It’s like telling your people they’re getting the best. Please contact us for a formal quotation for First-Line Service. We’re ready to serve you.

Desktop Safety System software

Chilworth Desktop Safety System™ – Hazard Assessment Software

Have you identified all of the potential hazards associated with your process operations?
Are you sure of the best explosion prevention techniques for your powder handling processes?
Would you like to have your own in-house expert?

The Chilworth Desktop Safety System™ (DSS)

This user-friendly software interprets test data, conducts hazard assessments and recommends practical safety measures, all rapidly and easily from the desktop.

Based on a proprietary algorithm developed with more than a decade of process safety testing and advisory experience, DSS has been validated on a wide variety of powder handling operations and equipment used throughout the process industry.

The hazards posed by various ignition sources are analyzed, and steps for their elimination and/or control are suggested; attention is also paid to electrostatic discharge as a potential ignition source for flammable atmospheres. Those operations that the software defines as hazardous have the appropriate prevention and protection measures recommended. Your existing systems are tested, and what-if scenarios can be run for the design of future processes.

The hazard assessment function uses an easily understood Color Hazard Indicator that dynamically interprets the changing levels of hazard in a given operation. At the touch of a button, DSS makes use of available test data to provide an assessment of potential vapor and dust fire and explosion hazards associated with powder handling and processing operations.


  • Rapid Answers to process safety questions
  • Fully customizable; additional processes can be added to suit your requirements.
  • Detailed report function
  • Stand alone application, no additional software required
  • User friendly interface
  • Cost Effective


  • Manual Transfer
  • Conveying
  • Milling
  • Drying
  • Blending
  • Filtration
  • Centrifuging
  • Your operation

Try a Demonstration Version of the Chilworth Desktop Safety System™ at no cost or obligation.

For further information please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 609-799-4449.

Laboratory Testing

lab testing

We operate one of DEKRA's world premier chemical process hazards laboratories. Process safety testing is used to develop the data on which fire and explosion hazard assessments and incident investigations should be based.

Learn about our Laboratory Testing options