OSHA endorses ISA-84 standards

Jan. 3, 2006
The three-part ISA series of standards may be used in process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals

THE U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has officially notified ISA that a three-part ISA series of standards may be used in achieving compliance with OSHA regulations pertaining to the prevention and mitigation of accidents involving hazardous chemicals.

The three-part series is ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 (IEC 61511 Modified), "Functional Safety: Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industry Sector." The standards resulted from the adoption and modification of the three-part international standard IEC 61511 by ISA's SP84 standards development committee. Leaders of ISA-SP84 played key roles in the development of IEC 61511.

The OSHA regulation for which the standards may be applied is 29 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 1910.119, "Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals." It establishes the need for PSM procedures to protect employees by preventing or minimizing chemical accidents involving highly hazardous chemicals. OSHA's endorsement of ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 is vital in enabling companies to use the standards to help meet OSHA requirements for employee safety.

"OSHA considers ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 (IEC 61511 Mod) to be recognized and generally accepted good engineering practice for SIS (safety instrumented systems)," Richard E. Fairfax, director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, wrote in a letter to ISA. "Therefore, if an employer chooses to use ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 as a basis ('code or standard employed') for SIS, and meets all ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 requirements and other OHSA PSM requirements related to SIS, the employer will then be considered in compliance with OSHA PSM requirements for SIS," he added.

"Endorsement of ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 by OSHA as a generally accepted good engineering practice for safety instrumented systems (SIS) is a major step in reinforcing the status of IEC 61511 as a multinational standard," stated ISA-SP84 chairman William H. Johnson of E.I. DuPont. "This will have a global impact on the functional safety of process plants. The challenge now is to accomplish the goal of increasing functional safety and reducing the life cycle costs of SIS designed to the new standards."

To help meet that challenge, ISA will publish in January 2006 two major technical reports developed by ISA-SP84 for use in conjunction with the standards:

  • ISA-TR84.00.04-2005 Part 1: Guideline on the Implementation of ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 (IEC 61511 Mod)
  • ISA-TR84.00.04-2005 Part 2: Example Implementation of ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-2004 Parts 1-3 (IEC 61511 Mod)