for Work and Hazards Identification to Define the Necessary and Sufficient Standards Set and Direct Appraisal Efforts

August 23, 1996


Team Member

Paul Davis Industrial Hygiene

Keith Gershon Electrical Safety Engineer

Dick Dicely Division Safety Coordinator

Paul Johnson Safety Engineer and Team Leader

David Stevens Assistant to Division Director

Tony Yuen Fire Protection

Pat Thorson Environmental Protection

Phil Roebuck DOE Site Office



Brief Division EH&S Committee 6/28/96

Identify Team Members 6/28/96

Collect & Review Information 7/3/96-7/17/96

Overview of Division 8/2/96

Initial Hazards Identification & Grouping 8/7/96

Field Validation 8/13/96

Finalize Risk Survey Sheets 8/15/96

Summary Report Draft 8/16/96

Organization, Management

The Computing Sciences Directorate consists of two divisions, Information and Computing Sciences (ICSD) and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC); and three departments, Networking and Telecommunications (ESNet), Center for Computing Sciences and Engineering (CCSE), and Mathematics; that provide resources and activities that support Associate Laboratory Director, C. William McCurdy.

ICSD, headed by Stewart C. Loken, is further divided into three departments, Information Systems and Services (ISS), Technical and Electronic Information (TEID), and Computer Science Research (CSRD). NERSC, under the direction of Horst Simon, is divided into two departments, Future Technologies and High Performance Computing (HPCAC).

The divisions and departments listed above are responsible for the dual mission of the directorate:

  1. To pursue computer science research in areas of interest to the Laboratory and DOE.
  2. To provide infrastructure and support services for administrative and scientific computing, archiving and record keeping, computer networking, the LBNL libraries, technical and electronic information, telecommunications, and videoconferencing.

The NERSC Facility Manager, Dick Dicely, is charged with oversight of EH&S activities for the entire Directorate. The Facility Manager reports to the Department Head for High Performance Computing who in turn reports to the NERSC Division Director. The EH&S Committee meets once per quarter and provides guidance to the Division Directors and Department Heads with regard to EH&S concerns. The EH&S Committee is composed of representatives from all Departments.

The Computing Sciences Directorate is responsible for operations in the following buildings: 1, 10A, 17A, 46, 50A, 50B, 50C, 50D, 50E, 50F, 69, 70E, 70G, 90, 938, and 965.


Program Management Responsibility for Safety

Line Management is responsible for the protection of the public, the workers, and the environment.

At the Berkeley Laboratory the following documents establish the policy and provide the implementation guidance that makes line management effectively accountable for protection of the workers, the public and the environment:

Clear Roles And Responsibilities

Clear and unambiguous lines of authority and responsibility for ensuring safety are established and maintained at all organizational levels within the Department and its contractor.

Each Division making up the Berkeley Laboratory has clearly defined lines of responsibility down to the working level. Each division designates a research investigator to represent its views and concerns on the Laboratory Safety Review Committee and a full time employee to act as the EH&S Coordinator. This Coordinator acts as the interface between EH&S concerns and compliance in the workplace and the EH&S technical professionals.

Roles and responsibilites are delineated in organizational/facility notebooks as appropriate (see OAP).

Competence Commensurate With Responsibilities

Personnel possess the experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities that are necessary to discharge their responsibilities.

Job assignments, including hires , are reviewed by line management and by the compensation group within Human Resources to ensure that the requirements and responsibilities of a job are matched by the experience, knowledge and skills of individuals selected for assignment. A performance expectation for managers and supervisors at the Laboratory is how well the talents, knowledge, and skill of their employees are matched to work assignments and responsibilities.

The Laboratory's training program ensures that each staff member, including participating guests, is adequately trained to participate safely in Laboratory activities. Staff, with supervisor participation, fill out the Jobs Hazards Questionnaire (JHQ) deciding the hazards associated with their job assignment and work area. Evaluation of the responses by the Training Coordinator and cognizant supervisor identifies the training necessary to carry out work in a manner that protects the employee, co-workers, the public, and the environment.

Balanced Priorities

Resources are effectively allocated to address safety, programmatic, and operational considerations. Protecting the public, the workers, and the environment is a priority whenever activities are planned and performed.

All environment, safety and health activities in the Laboratory are described in technical terms with budgetary information included. Each year this information is updated, reviewed and prioritized on the basis of risk to workers, public, and the environment by a Laboratory wide committee selected to representprogrammatic line management and EH&S professionals. This document is utilized by Laboratory Senior Management in strategically planning the immediate focus and long term goals of the environment, safety and health program at the Laboratory.

Hazard Controls Tailored to Work Being Performed

Administrative and engineering controls to prevent and mitigate hazards are tailored to the work and associated hazards being performed.

Chapter 6 of the Environment, Health and Safety Manual clearly defines the steps for each line manager to develop the appropriate engineering and administrative controls to mitigate hazards in the workplace. The Laboratory's Self Assessment Program, including Functional Appraisals by ES&H professionals, and the UC/DOE Contract 98 Performance Measures provide assurance that implementation of hazards control is adequate to protect the worker, the public and the environment.

Identification of Safety Standards and Requirements

Before work is performed, the associated hazards are evaluated and an agreed-upon set of safety standards and requirements are established which, if properly implemented, provide adequate assurance that the public, the workers, and environment are protected from adverse consequences.

The Laboratory is dedicated to following the Necessary and Sufficient Closure Process (DOE 450.3) on an iterative basis at all levels of activities in the Laboratory to ensure the Safety Standards are adequate to provide protection to workers, the public and the environment. This process is completed by commencement of work in those situations where current work is significantly modified, new work is proposed, or substantial facility modifications are being made (Chapter 6, Environment, Health and Safety Manual).

Operations Authorizations

The conditions and requirements to be satisfied for operations to be initiated and conducted are clearly established and agreed-upon.

Conditions and requirements for facilities determined to be of higher risk based on the Preliminary Hazards Analysis are contained in a Safety Analysis Document. Activity Hazard Documents are the basis for meeting this requirement for specific operations and activities falling into the higher risk category at the Berkeley Laboratory. Internal agreements describing the performance expectations by each party are used for operations between two functional areas where the quality of performance might adversely impact the Laboratory's ability to meet its responsibility to protect workers, the public, and the environment.


The mission of the Computing Science Directorate is to (1) provide LBNL and the Energy Research community with an integrated facility for computational science supported by powerful intellectual, computing and networking resources, and (2) support the LBNL business and administrative infrastructure with the most modern methods and technology.


Computer Science Division is primarily located in the 50 complex but also occupies or has rooms in the following buildings: 46, 51, 69, 90, 70E, 17A, 938, 965, 70G.

The types of rooms this Division occupies range from primarily office/computer to a small electrical/machine shop in 50A to a computer repair shop in building 46.


NERSC Computer Room Underfloor Halon System. This area is located in 50B-1275 and consists of eight cylinders each containing 255 pounds of halon in a fixed system with three levels of high-sensitivity fail-safe system. (The cylinders themselves are located in 50B-0258.)

Level 1 (lowest sensitivity)

Page Operator, Investigate signal to Fire Dept. Blue flashing strobe 1275 ceiling pulsating horn 1275.

Level 2 (moderate sensitivity, indicates a significant considerations. Fire Alarm Signal to Fire Dept. Yellow flashing strobe 1275 ceiling. Shutdown blowers 25&26 50B (fan room 0243).

Level 3 (highest sensitivity indicates significant quantity of smoke for significant duration). Trip off re-circulating ACU's. Trip EPO-! (1275 panel shunt trips) & EPO-3 (0248-MG substation switch gear trips).

Even if the high-sensitivity system attains Level 3, a second standard detector (heat or smoke) trip is required before the halon release countdown (30 second delay) is activated. Clearly marked manual abort buttons are located at all exits and by the alarm annunicator panel.

This area is rated low hazard because of the above description but could become a moderate-high hazard if system fails being that halon is ozone depleting, There are no known systems failure at this time, Will follow with LLNL, NASA who have utilized this type of system.

Above Floor Halon Systems

These areas are located in Buildings 10A, 50A-1156, 50B-2265, and 62B. These systems contain lesser quantities of halon ranging from 50 to 70 pounds, with the exception of the system in 50A-1156 which contains 2 cylinders at 294 pounds each.

The system in 50A-1156 requires two detector trips to activate and includes a manual abort button. The systems in 50B-2265 consist of bottles located directly on top of each of the six tape storage silos and also contains manual abort buttons. A release of halon in 50B-2265 would be contained entirely within the affected storage silo.

Network And Telecommunications Battery Banks

There are four locations used to support all the telephones and network for the Laboratory. Locations are bldgs. 10, Donner attic, 66 basement of 50 complex between 50A and 50B, (largest unit). This unit is completely enclosed with shielding to preclude inadvertent contact. This area should be identified as "Battery Bank" and "Authorized Personnel Only".

Bldg 50A-1156

Telephone room, switching, and networking. Small battery bank does not have the proper shielding and identification. Two Halon 1301 tanks in the room for fire suppression.

Bldg. 50E-0022 Small battery room this area should be monitored for adequate ventilation.

Bldg. 50B-0248 NERSC This room contains the halon cylinders which provide underfloor protection in 50B-1275.

Bldg. 50B-2265, Mass Storage Silos. The six silos in this room each contain one cylinder of halon stored on top of the silo.

Bldg 46-132,134

This shop is run by Tom Viola, primary function is maintenance repair of computer and electronic components. Small quantities of Acetone, Isopropyl Alcohol. Location also has 2 Satellite Accumulation Area(SAA). Small quantities of freon and other spray cans containing compounds regulated by BAAQMD.

Bldg 50F Illustration Room

Small quantities Alcohols and Adhesives may be subject BAAQMD permitting and operating regulations, appears to be low volume use area.

Division Wide

Ergonomic hazards associated with the use of computers are the most common hazard in office areas of the division. Employees are encouraged to have their worksations evaluated and the proper chairs and keyboards accessories purchased.


Present funding and DOE approval levels indicate the ability to continue to aggresively pursue the mission of the Directorate. While anticipated growth of the Directorate may create a shortage of office/computer room space, the types of operations and hazards present today will not change nor will the overall hazard level of Directorate operations increase as a result of this growth.


Current indications are that adequate funding will be available to address mission and ES&H concerns in the coming years.


None identified.

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