Process Safety Management (PSM) 

The purpose of this rulemaking is to improve workplace safety and health at refineries. Catastrophic events at oil refineries across the U.S. have tragically claimed the lives of many workers — including 13 in Washington State since 1998. Six workers died from a Process Safety Management (PSM) related incident in 1998 at a petroleum refinery in Anacortes. In 2010, 7 more workers died when a heat exchanger used in the refining process at a petroleum refinery in Anacortes exploded and the fire engulfed the workers. These incidents have led to much discussion about what could have been done to prevent these tragedies.


The CR-101 was filed on August 22, 2017 (WSR 17-17-134).

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.


In 2015, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) launched an effort to update the safety standards for process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals. A Process Safety Management Advisory Committee was established consisting of L&I staff, labor representatives, business representatives, and other community members. The Committee held 10 meetings between September 21, 2015 and September 6, 2017, during which the initial draft rule language was developed and discussed. In August 2017, L&I filed a preproposal statement of inquiry (CR-101) initiating a rulemaking. Eleven stakeholder meetings to discuss the draft rule language were conducted between January 24, 2018 and December 4, 2018. While the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in the agency’s rulemaking process, L&I is currently increasing its efforts to propose a PSM rule and plans to file a CR-102 in Spring 2023.

Meetings & Timeline Rule Drafts & Documents Additional resources

Staff Contacts:

For rulemaking questions, please contact:

Tari Enos
Administrative Regulations Analyst or 360-902-5541

For technical questions, please contact:

Sally Buckingham
Industrial Hygiene Specialist or 360-647-7322