Chapter 6

APPENDIX D. Activity Hazard Document (AHD) Process

Approved by John Seabury
Revised 07/11

The Activity Hazard Document (AHD) is a general-form tool and authorization used to document the analysis and controls for hazards that do not have specific analytical tools prescribed elsewhere. In general, if a hazard exceeds the trigger level specified in Appendix B, or if a hazard or combination of hazards in an activity exceeds those authorized by the applicable Line Management Authorization,an Activity Hazard Document must be prepared unless the hazard has already been included in a broader, facility-based analysis.

LBNL manages AHDs through an electronic management system. Many divisions have internal procedures for preparation and review of AHDs. Work leaders must consult with their division safety coordinator/administrator to determine what his or her division’s procedures include. Regardless of a division’s internal procedures, all actions (initial authorization, reauthorization, updating user list, etc.) must take place within the electronic management system. The version of the AHD in the electronic management system is the version of record.*

The steps below provide an outline of how to prepare and reauthorize AHDs in the absence of any internal division procedures. Division internal procedures for processing AHDs must include the essential elements of the process provided here (thorough analysis of hazards, concurrent division and EH&S authorization, annual review and reauthorization by the division, and review by EH&S).

The initial authorization of the AHD proceeds as follows:

  1. At the division level, the principal investigator determines that an AHD is required by reviewing the planned work against the trigger levels in Appendix B. If there is any question as to the applicability of a certain situation to this appendix, or for consideration of other or combined hazards, the EH&S division liaison should be consulted.

  2. The principal investigator prepares the AHD submittal using the template given in the electronic management system. He/she may designate a separate individual as “work leader” for purposes of supplying detail, but the principal investigator retains responsibility for the AHD. The tutorial and “Help” functions within the system explain how to use it; questions can be directed to the AHD coordinator.

  3. The data management system assigns an AHD identification number and appoints a review team leader who will recruit additional team members to properly evaluate the work. Generally, the review team leader will be the division liaison for that division. At a minimum, the review team should include the EH&S subject matter expert for the predominant technical areas included in the work process, and representatives from all EH&S disciplines.1 The review team leader may request that resources outside of EH&S be used to evaluate the planned work. If so, this request should be reviewed with the EH&S AHD coordinator.

  4. The review team reviews the work with the principal investigator and/or work leader.

  5. The review team makes recommendations to the principal investigator/work leader, if necessary, for incorporation into the AHD. The review team lead, principal investigator, and work leader may directly edit the text in the electronic system.

  6. The principal investigator releases the final AHD for formal review. There may be several review/comment cycles depending upon the complexity of the comments and revisions, and these are documented within the data management system. Upon agreement that the AHD is acceptable, the review team leader concludes the review cycle by releasing the AHD for electronic signatures.2

  7. Work may begin after all required authorization signatures have been obtained.3 Users may not perform work until they have completed their training and have signed the AHD.

  8. A printed copy of the fully authorized AHD should be prominently posted in the work area; however, the electronic version is the version of record.

  9. The principal investigator and work leader are responsible for assuring that work proceeds in accordance with hazard controls specified.

Reauthorization of an AHD proceeds in accordance with division procedures (consult the division safety coordinator/administrator), or proceeds as follows:

  1. As the reauthorization date approaches, the principal investigator and work leader review the AHD and the work process.

  2. Work may not proceed in the absence of an authorized AHD. If the AHD falls outside of its reauthorization cycle, then the electronic management system will remove its “Active” status, and work must stop until the AHD is again “Active.”



*AHDs will be transitioned from paper into the electronic management system during the phase-in in CY2007. Prior to it being incorporated into the electronic system, the authorized paper version is the version of record and is considered valid.


  1. For purposes of AHD review, EH&S disciplines are defined as Environmental Protection, Waste Management, Radiation Protection, Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Safety, and Fire Protection. The data management system documents this involvement.
  2. Concurring signatures are required from the Principal Investigator, the EH&S Review Team Lead and the Division Safety Coordinator. The Division Director’s signature authorizes the work.
  3. Signatures of EH&S and the division on the authorization document that an Operational Readiness Review has taken place and that work may proceed in accordance with the established authorization.
  4. Minor changes in personnel, materials, and methods are not generally considered significant changes unless these changes affect the applicability of the initial hazard assessment.

<< Return to Chapter 6 || Table of Contents