Environment, Health, and Safety Careers

Chemical Process Safety

EHS Chemical Safety

Chemical Process Safety Program & Resources


All chemical exposures have the potential for health consequences. Depending on the toxicology and concentration, the effects of chemical exposures may be immediate (acid burns) or long term (chronic beryllium disease or cancer). In any case, chemical exposures may result in life threatening outcomes. Chemicals may cause physical damage such as explosions or fires resulting in serious injury and facility damage. Facility and mission related effects might include corrosive actions that degrade equipment performance (like mercury on copper nickel alloys and aluminum) and residual contamination that limits the future use of facilities and equipment. Environmental issues may arise as a result of spills, releases, or waste chemical inventories. In addition to the health effects, physical damage, or environmental effects that may result from a chemical incident, there will be a need to apply scarce resources to the mitigation of the incident.

Despite the 1994 Chemical Vulnerability Study and the management response plan developed to address its findings, chemical incident rates to date remain essentially unchanged. To effectively reduce both the number and magnitude of incidents, organizations need to effectively use their safety resources to raise the awareness of chemical hazards and improve chemical safety management.

These resources include expanded use of chemical management best practices, lessons learned, and existing guidance. There are numerous DOE, OSHA, and EPA standards, rules, orders, etc., which contain chemical management requirements such as those listed in the following section.

Regulations / Directives / Training