Many categories of contract labor may be present at a jobsite; such workers may actually operate the facility or do only a particular aspect of a job because they have specialized knowledge or skill. Others work only for short periods when there is need for increased staff quickly, such as in turnaround operations. PSM includes special provisions for contractors and their employees to emphasize the importance of everyone taking care that they do nothing to endanger those working nearby who may work for another employer.

PSM, therefore, applies to contractors performing maintenance or repair, turnaround, major renovation, or specialty work on or adjacent to a covered process. It does not apply, however, to contractors providing incidental services that do not influence process safety, such as janitorial, food and drink, laundry, delivery, or other supply services.

Employer Responsibilities

When selecting a contractor, the employer must obtain and evaluate information regarding the contract employer's safety performance and programs. The employer also must inform contract employers of the known potential fire, explosion, or toxic release hazards related to the contractor's work and the process; explain to contract employers the applicable provisions of the emergency action plan; develop and implement safe work practices to control the presence, entrance, and exit of contract employers and contract employees in covered process areas; evaluate periodically the performance of contract employers in fulfilling their obligations; and maintain a contract employee injury and illness log related to the contractor's work in the process areas.

Contract Employer Responsibilities

The contract employer must:

  • Ensure that contract employees are trained in the work practices necessary to perform their job safely

  • Ensure that contract employees are instructed in the known potential fire, explosion, or toxic release hazards related to their job and the process, and in the applicable provisions of the emergency action plan

  • Document that each contract employee has received and understood the training required by the standard by preparing a record that contains the identity of the contract employee, the date of training, and the means used to verify that the employee understood the training

  • Ensure that each contract employee follows the safety rules of the facility including the required safe work practices required in the operating procedures section of the standard

  • Advise the employer of any unique hazards presented by the contract employer's work