Process safety management is a management system that is focused on prevention of, preparedness for, mitigation of, response to, and restoration from catastrophic releases of chemicals or energy from a process associated with a facility.
Process safety management is different from occupational health and safety management
In recent decades, we have made great strides in occupational health and safety management, working conditions and working environment of employees are increasingly improved. The employers are getting aware of their responsibility in health and safety work and the environment, laws and regulations are more and more strict. Therefore, occupational accidents such as falls, falling objects, or collisions with machines… are decreasing.
However, the number of catastrophic process incidents has not decreased in recent years, with the scale of consequences increasing, below are a few examples.
- On 20 April 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico, the DeepWater Horizon oil spill was an industrial disaster with a total discharge of 4.9 million barrels, 11 fatalities, and as of 2018, only clean-up costs and penalties had cost the BP Company more than US$65 billion. 
- On 12 August 2015, at the Port of Tianjin – China, a series of explosions killed 173 people (104 were fire-fighters), and over 800 missing and injuries 
- On 7 May 2020, in Andhra Pradesh, India, a gas leak of the LG Polymers Chemical Plant killed 11 people and more than 1000 people became sick after being exposed to the gas 
- On 4 August 2020, at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, a large amount of ammonium nitrate exploded, causing at least 207 deaths, 7,500 injuries, and US $15 billion in property damage. It is considered one of the most powerful artificial non-nuclear explosions in history .
In the conclusion of the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigation of the DeepWater Horizon oil spill, the CSB found that BP and its contracted drilling rig operator, Transocean, were focused on personal safety issues such as worker injury rates, rather than broader safety issues involving the process of drilling for oil using a complex rig”. 
CSB Chairman – Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “A number of past CSB investigations have found companies focusing on personal injury rates while virtually overlooking looming process safety issues – like the effectiveness of barriers against hazardous releases, automatic shutoff system failures, activation of pressure relief devices, and loss of containment of liquids and gases. Furthermore, we have found failures by companies to implement their own recommendations from previous accidents involving, for example, leaks of flammable materials.” .
International Regulations and Standards
The increasingly serious process incidents have forced the Authority Agents to issue specified regulations on Process Safety Management of chemical and energy facilities.
In the United States, in 1999, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), under the Department of Labour, issued a Regulation that mandate the establishment of a Process Safety Management System (PSM), abbreviated as OSHA. PSM 1910.119, this system consists of 14 elements. The PSM aim is to prevent and minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive chemicals.”
In this regulation, “Process” means any activity involving highly hazardous chemicals including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling, or the on-site movement of such chemicals, or combination of these activities. This regulation applied to process facilities that involve a chemical at or above the specified threshold quantities. . According to this regulation, all chemical manufacturing and trading companies must establish the PSM.
In Europe, Italy, the Seveso accident with the emissions of the dioxin was the initiator for the SEVESO Directive approved by the European Parliament. This Directive required organizations to prevent and minimize the consequences of serious chemical incidents. Up to now, the latest revision approved by the EU is SEVESO III, 2012 .
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) with its research unit on chemical safety, the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), 1989, first published a relatively complete framework of a PSM system, after that it had adjusted many times for years, and now consists of 20 basic elements. Nowadays, companies both inside and outside the US refer to CCPS PSM as the basis for developing their process safety management system.
Trends in Vietnam and around the world
Although in Vietnam and many countries over the world, PSM has not been yet a mandatory requirement in the law, some of the chemical companies have applied the requirements of PSM to ensure continuous production and minimize process incidents.
The Vietnam Oil & Gas Group (Petro Vietnam) had issued Decision 8483/QD-DKVN dated December 30, 2016, guiding the establishment and application of a set of key performance indicators on process safety for petroleum refining operations and gas processing 
Some companies in Vietnam have actively developed a process safety management system such as Binh Son Refinery and Petrochemical Company and few others.
Even though process safety management is a new field in Vietnam, it is the inevitable direction for Chemical, Oil & Gas Production and Trading Companies. It is specifically designed for prevention and reduce the consequences of chemical and energy disasters. Thus applying process safety management is necessary and important for production and trading companies on chemical and oil & gas
 CCPS, Guideline for Risk-Based Process Safety, John Wiley&Son, Inc., New Jersey, 2007
 PetroVietnam, Decision No. 8483/QD-DKVN dated December 30, 2016, guiding the establishment and application of a set of key performance indicators on process safety for petroleum refining operations and gas processing