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

August 19, 1996


Team MemberTechnical Specialty
James Chwang Fire Protection - DOE Oakland
Paul Davis Industrial Hygiene and Team Leader
Keith Gershon Occupational Safety
Connie Grondona Health Services
Kathie Hardy Division Safety Coordinator
Roger Kloepping Radiation Protection
Mark Lasartemay Waste Management
Pat Thorson Environmental Protection
Tony Yuen Fire Protection


Collect and Review Information 6/3/96 - 6/12/96
Establish Team Members 6/14/96
Initial Hazards Identification & Grouping 6/25/96
Field Check Spaces 7/12/96
Finalize Risk Survey Sheets 7/22/96 - 7/24/96
Summary Report Draft 7/25/96

Organization and Management

The Physics Division is composed of sixteen scientific research programs whose leaders report directly to the Division Director (Robert Cahn). These program leaders are responsible for the scientific excellence, relevance to the DOE mission, and fiscal integrity, of their programs. This also includes adherence to all administrative and regulatory requirements. The Division Safety Administrator (Kathie Hardy) is charged with oversight of matters pertaining to environment, safety, and health (ES&H). The Division Safety Administrator reports to the Division Director. An ES&H Committee meets monthly and provides guidance to the Division Director with regard to ES&H concerns. The ES&H Committee is representative of program and administration, and includes scientists, technicians, and administrators.

On-site operations are located in Berkeley Lab buildings (B) 50, 50A, 50B, B51G, 60, and 70A. Experiments are also conducted off-site, such as Fermilab, SLAC, and CERN.


Research 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 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 contractors.

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 ES&H Coordinator. This Coordinator acts as the interface between ES&H concerns and compliance in the workplace and the EH&S technical professionals. Organizational information is updated (e.g., 60 days) and retained in the Functional/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 in the Division of Environment, Health and Safety is how well the talents, knowledge and skills of staff are matched to work assignments and responsibilities

The Laboratory's training program ensures that each staff member, including participating guests, is adequately trained to do participate safely in Laboratory activities. Staff, with supervisor participation, fill out the Jobs Hazards Questionnaire (JHQ) describing the hazards associated with their job assignment and work area. Evaluation of the responses by the Training Coordinator and the cognizant supervisor determines the training regimen needed 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 represent programmatic line management and ES & H 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 protection 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 the environment are protected from adverse consequences. This is reflected in Physics Division's excellent safety record, which has the lowest accident rate for any division at LBL.

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 reevaluation 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 Authorization

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.


Work at the Physics Division involves research in theoretical and experimental particle physics and astrophysics, incorporating such activities as development of detectors and other hardware, development of software, data compilation and analysis, as well as publication and presentation of research results.


The Physics Division is primarily located in buildings 50, 50A, 50B, B51G, 60, and 70A. In addition to these areas, Physicists in this Division participate in national and international collaborations which carry out work at other institutions, such as CERN, Fermilab and SLAC. The types of rooms this Division occupies vary widely, ranging from offices to electronic labs and clean room type environments.


Electronic Type Laboratories

These types of laboratories typically design, assemble, and test various types of electronic equipment.

Chemical / Inerts: Generally small quantities of cleaning type solvents such as ethyl alcohol and acetone. Some cryogens and inert gases are also used, though the quantities are also small. Hazards associated with these material are low because of the small quantities and proper storage (e.g., flammable storage cabinets) facilities that are available.

Flammable gases: One laboratory (50B/6209) has flammable gas, which is stored in a ventilated gas cabinet equipped with a flow sensor and alarm.

Electrical: Electrical shock is perhaps one of the greater hazards in these types of laboratories. To reduce this risk employees attend a electrical safety class.

Lasers: One laboratory (50A/6113) has one enclosed 3B laser, a Laser safety document has been written and approved for this area.

Sealed Sources: A number of these laboratories have sealed radioactive sources. They are stored in locked cabinets, logs of their use are kept, and all users have dosimeters.


Mechanical hazards are found in these areas. Guards have been installed on all machines, and shop training is given by the shop manager. There is some crane use, and all crane operators are certified.

Multipurpose Microgap Lab (50A/2155)

This laboratory uses significant amounts of flammable gases. To mitigate this there is a flammable gas detection system with sensors placed both in floor and ceiling locations as well as a solenoid system that automatically shuts off gas flow in the event of an alarm condition.

Radiation: This area has sealed sources that are stored in a locked cabinet, a log of their use is kept, and users have dosimeters. In addition, there are two x-ray machines that have x-ray safety documents.

Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition Facility (70A/3343)

This is a restricted access laboratory that contains flammable gases, flammable liquids, inert gases, corrosives, oxidizers, toxic gases, pyrophoric gases, a RF source and highly toxic materials. To mitigate these hazards there is a toxic gas monitor which is interlocked with the toxic gas cylinders, the Fire Department, and audio and visual alarms. Toxic gas cylinders are installed in a ventilated gas cabinet, have restricted flow orifices and excess flow trip valves. This room is also equipped with other safety systems, such as a caustic scrubber and a laboratory hood. The AHD for this laboratory describes these safety systems in detail. In addition, Building 70A is equipped with emergency standby power and a permitted acid waste neutralization system, both of which are maintained by Facilities.

Microsystems Laboratory (70A/4435-4457)

This is a clean room, restricted access type laboratory. It contains flammable gases, flammable liquids, inert gases, corrosives, oxidizers, toxic gases, pyrophoric gases, a RF source and highly toxic materials. To mitigate these hazards there are ventilated work stations, equipment specific ventilation systems, as well as toxic and flammable gas monitors which are interlocked with the gas cylinders. These monitors shut off gas flow and activate visual and audio alarms both in this room and the Fire Department. Gas cylinders are installed in ventilated gas cabinets, have restricted flow orifices and excess flow trip valves. The AHD for this laboratory describes these safety systems in detail.

Division Wide

Ergonomic hazards associated with the use of computers are the most common hazard in this division, with virtually everyone exposed to this hazard. Employees are encouraged to have their workstations evaluated and the proper chairs and keyboard accessories are purchased. Tall and/or valuable lab research equipment is typically secured in labs (e.g., electronic racks) and office areas.


SAA's were found to be in 100% compliance during this review. There is a specific BAAQMD permit for the Microsystems Laboratory. Before a new or modified research or construction project is implemented the Division checks to ensure that all NEPA/CEQA requirements are met.


Several research programs in this division are one of a kind collaborations with other Facilities, such as CERN, SLAC or Fermilab. This can result in a rapidly changing research environment, where projects are finished and new one started, often in a matter of months. This creates challenges in such areas as employee training and updating the chemical inventory.


No significant changes in Physics Division resources devoted to ES&H activities are planned.

Representatives of Physics (Kathy Hardy and Ron Madaras) offered the following evaluation of the EH&S Division past and future resources and support:


There are no stakeholder concerns unique to Physics Division, which has managed, controlled, and permitted (as required) air, water, hazardous, and solid waste waste streams.

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