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Preparing for the DOE Health, Safety and Security (HSS) Review

Welcome to the HSS Review information site. During the period January 25 through February 5 of 2009 the Department of Energy will conduct an onsite review of Berkeley Lab’s Integrated Safety Management Systems. There will be a scoping visit prior to the review, which will take place December 3-4, 2008 and a scheduling visit January 6-8, 2009. The review will look at every aspect of the Lab’s safety program, especially its compliance with Integrated Safety Management (ISM) guidelines. This website provides helpful information resources to assist all employees, especially those in safety oversight and supervisory roles, to prepare for a successful review.

What to Expect

8-10 auditors from DOE Headquarters, plus an equal number of LBNL and Berkeley Site Office personnel, will disperse through the Lab beginning on January 25, 2009 and will remain in the field all of that week. They will measure the extent to which we comply with the standards we have set for safety, based on DOE guidelines. Their job is to confirm that our Workers understand what work they are authorized to do, what hazards are involved, and how to work safely. They will make their assessments based on Work area visits, observation of ongoing Work, and on-the-spot interviews of staff at all levels. They will also review institutional programs.

It’s important to realize that the review does not end when the visit is over. The reviewers will return within a couple of months to see how we are doing at fixing issues that they found during their visit, and they will return periodically after that as well. The changes we make as a result of this review need to be complete and permanent.

Review Schedule

What is Integrated Safety Management?

Integrated Safety Management (ISM) is a system that defines how safety is integrated into operations. It is a “total approach” system that starts with analyzing the work before it begins and continues through ongoing reviewing of he work, drawing conclusions about improvements that can be added into work at the beginning of the cycle. ISM includes work planning, control and authorization; clear definitions of responsibility, accountability and authority; and the graded approach to safety.  At LBNL, the overall institional approach to Integrated Safety Management is articulated in the Integrated Environment, Health & Safety Management Plan (PUB-3140).

Division communications

Whether you are a senior scientist, a post doc or support staff, it’s important to understand the safety guidelines and requirements of your division. All divisions will be communicating specific plans and self-assessment reports to their employees. To access division-specific information about the review, go here.

A large part of the review will consist of interviews with workers in the field. To view a simulation of a typical review interview, go here.

You should also think about the types of questions you might be asked. Below are some typical questions that auditors ask.

If you are in Operations and Maintenance

These are questions that may be asked Facilities craftsmen, Operations and Maintenance technicians, building operators, and others who work to keep the institution infrastructure functioning smoothly.

If You Are in a Research Lab

These are questions that may be asked of laboratory researchers at all levels – Principal Investigators, other research staff, Postdocs, Graduate Students, and undergraduates.

If You Oversee Subcontractors

If you oversee the work of subcontractors such as vendors, construction crews, repair personnel or the like, please review these questions.

Important Links


Everyone who conducts Work at LBNL, whether employee, guest, subcontractor or any other individual, must have analyzed that Work and must be authorized to perform it. The Job Hazards Analysis system is used to do this. The link below answers some questions about the Job Hazards Analysis system and provides access to complete the requirement.

Division Feedback Teams

These are the people within your Division who have the most knowledge about the upcoming review, and who have been designated by your Division Director to help the Division prepare for the review.



Draft Agenda

OurSafety Website

Additional Supporting Documents and Materials