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Environment, Health and Safety Division
Pressure Safety

The site-wide pressure safety program is designed to assist researchers with conducting their work with pressurized systems in a manner that assures safety yet provides for the flexibility necessary to perform the research activities. It consists of three parts:

Training: all LBNL employees who use compressed gases, hydraulic systems, cryogenic compounds, vacuum systems or any other pressurized apparatus are required to take a broad pressure and compressed gas safety course taught by EH&S. In this course pressure safety concepts are defined, common pressure concerns (cylinders, regulators, fittings, etc.) are discussed, and hazards that might be encountered in installing and using pressurized systems are presented. Also discussed are where the researcher can turn for additional assistance.

Consultation, Design and Construction: LBNL maintains several levels of consultative capability for researchers, from simple concept discussion and fitting selection through detailed design, construction and testing of new pressure vessel systems. This assistance is provided by EH&S (design and policy coordination), Engineering Division (design, design review and construction), and Facilities (regulator repair shop and installation service).

Work Authorization: Some complex, high hazard, or non-code pressure systems require a work authorization (Activity Hazard Document) in which the researcher describes his/her system, analyzes the potential hazards, and agrees to measures to mitigate the hazards. This is always done as a concurrent authorization with EH&S, and may involve additional third-party review, testing, and other safety assurances appropriate to the particular system. The focus is on making these authorizations meaningful: to use the opportunity of the authorization to think about the safety of the system and how the operator and bystanders will be protected.

Additional information about LBNL's Pressure Safety program can be obtained from Publication 3000 Chapters 6 (Safe Work Authorizations) and 7 (Pressure Safety and Cryogenics).