Current Steering Committee Notes

This section is reserved for meeting notes from the Industrial Hygiene/Occupational Safety Special Interest Group (IH/OS SIG) Steering Committee conference call meetings normally held every 4 to 6 weeks. Available are the current year’s notes as well meeting notes for the past several years.

Separating Line

April 13, 2021


The Industrial Hygiene/Occupational Safety Special Interest Group (IH/OS SIG) Steering Committee met on April 13, 2021 through a conference call meeting. Bob Weeks, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) facilitated the meeting in which the following Steering Committee members/guests participated:

  • Karin Adams, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
  • Aaron Anderson, LANL
  • Will Artley, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)
  • April Brown, DOE-AU-11
  • Cindy Casalina, DOE-National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
  • Walter Czekaj, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
  • Joe Dobbins, DOE-AU-11
  • Moriah Ferullo, DOE-AU-11
  • Jenni Hendricks, ORAU
  • Robin Keeler, DOE-AU-11
  • Laura Kim, Ames Laboratory
  • Elizabeth Marcotte, DOE
  • Regina Price, DOE Savannah River Site (SRS)
  • Cindy Saban, DOE-SRS
  • Gene Schaffer, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
  • Dina Siegel, LANL
  • Josef Sobieraj, DOE-NNSA
  • Graham Theobold, UCOR
  • Kayla Thomas, Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC)
  • Robert Utesch, ANL
  • Bob Weeks, LANL
  • Ryan Williamson, DOE-SRS

Topics covered in this meeting were:

  • DOE News
  • 46/250 Cleanout Operations & Lessons
  • Cority Industrial Hygiene Suite at KCNSC
  • Cority Industrial Hygiene Suite at Argonne National Laboratory

DOE News – Robin Keeler, AU-11

AU-11 has hired a new Industrial Hygienist. Her name is April Brown. She will be participating in all IH/OS SIG activities.

Robin Keeler, DOE-AU-11, gave an update on the following DOE handbooks/standards:

  • 1121 (Internal Dosimetry) and 1130 (Radiological Worker Training) are undergoing a review.
  • 1149 (Safety and Health Program for DOE Construction Projects) AU-11 completed the project justification memorandum. The standard is now undergoing review.
  • 1100 (Chemical Process Hazards Analysis) and 1101 (Process Safety Management for Highly Hazardous Chemicals) underwent a reaffirmation notice to REVCOM submission.
  • Their status is pending.
  • 1092 (Electrical Safety) underwent significant revisions and is being prepared for submission into REVCOM.

The AU-11 March 2021 WebEx on "DOE Injury and Illness Reporting and Recordkeeping" was well attended. A recording of the WebEx is available at The PowerPoint slide deck is available at Certificates of completion are being offered to participants in the WebEx.

The next AU-11 WebEx will be held on May 12, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT. The topic will be lockout/tagout, but it will not be focused solely on electrical safety.

The American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo's (AIHce's) annual meeting was scheduled to be held in Dallas, Texas, in May 2021 as both an in-person and virtual meeting. It has now been changed to strictly a virtual meeting. AU-11 usually hosts the DOE Federal and Contractors Industrial Hygiene Meeting, but will not be doing so this year. However, they will be hosting a virtual meeting on June 16, 2021. Robin is collecting the names of speakers and topics for discussion. Anyone who wants to submit a name or a topic can e-mail Robin at

The DOE COVID-19 Hub is still available at The COVID-19 Hotline has been answering questions about the vaccines. DOE also is going to publish information for Federal employees, supervisors, and HQ on COVID-19 information on the DOE Powerpedia website once approved by the Secretary.

46/240 Cleanout Operations & Lessons – Aaron Anderson, LANL

The TA46/250 facility at LANL is a metal building with four offices and six laboratory spaces. It also has outdoor chemical storage. A single Principal Investigator (PI) and their team used the building for over 10 years. This team overstocked chemicals and was not very good about sample management. The PI suddenly retired in 2015, leaving the space in need of cleanup, which began in 2018.

With regard to chemical inventory, Aaron and his team went through the facility by storage area and sorted and segregated the chemicals by compatibility. They then "paper packaged" the chemicals by class and then physically packaged them into drums/buckets after segregation. These drums buckets were then stored in CAA after packaging. To date, they have removed seven rounds (100 to 200 containers per round) from this space.

Aaron and his team found a variety of spent samples (e.g., liquids, solids, sludges, powders, nanomaterials, solutions). They also found that no notebooks were present to spot check sample numbers. However, they had a general history of the work done by the PI, which included conductive polymers to make button batteries.

The process for cleaning out spent samples involved segregating by type and combining materials into large containers for sampling. They physically handled over 2,000 individual vials, flasks, tubes, and bottles. They are currently waiting on analysis for WPF and disposal.

Key lessons learned from this cleanup operation were to:

  • Only purchase the chemicals and supplies that are needed in the quantity that is needed. Overbuying will lead to problems later.
  • Develop a sample management plan that involves mentoring (showing others how to do it), consistent labeling (pick a system and stick to it), and proper storage and disposal of samples.
  • Reinstate a "checkout form" to track chemicals, samples, and supplies.
  • Involve a waste coordinator in the management of unused/unspent inventory.

Cority Industrial Hygiene Suite at KCNSC – Kayla Thomas

Prior to 2017, KCNSC used a lot of homegrown systems and had health, safety, and environment (HS&E) data scattered about in many places. Then, in 2017, they undertook an HS&E initiative to integrate data and simplify the data management process. They evaluated commercially off the shelf systems for industrial hygiene (IH), occupational health (OH), and management of change (MOC). They ended up selecting Cority based on an evaluation scoring system. MOC was implemented on April 1, 2021. IH/OH is tentatively scheduled to be implemented in July 2021.

With regard to IH uses, Cority will be a "system of record" for IH and radiation monitoring, data analysis, and notification letters. It also will be used to track equipment locations and calibration and respirator fit test records.

Kayla's presentation focused on (see PowerPoint slides located at for example screen shots):

  • Risk assessment
  • Similar exposure group (SEG) management and medical surveillance
  • Sampling plans/surveys
  • My Cority

Future implementations and goals for KCNSC are to expand Sphera chemical data to include hazard statements and pictograms to integrate with the Agent Hazard table and to integrate IH risk assessment with safety, environment, and fire data.

Cority Industrial Hygiene Suite at Argonne National Laboratory – Gene Schaffer

From the 1990s to 2010, ANL used the Worker Protection System (WPS), which was a homegrown system based on Oracle. From 2010 to 2017, ANL used IHS (Sphera) primarily because of its strengths in other environment, safety, and health areas. It quickly became obsolete, so ANL began looking for a new platform in 2015.

Data entry in 2015 called for seven different entry points, which was estimated to have consumed 50% of field sampling activities. In that year, ANL's IH program got to select its own data management platform independently of other organizations. Their selection criteria in order of importance was:

  1. Ease of data entry
  2. Data retrieval capabilities
  3. Logical organization
  4. Document repository
  5. Pretty colors (for dashboards and graphical reporting)
The result was that they choose the Cority Industrial Hygiene Suite, and, in 2021, their documentation effort has been reduced by 50% to 75% of previous levels.

ANL currently uses Cority as a "system of record" for IH monitoring. This means that it offers an official record for all sample results and information. It also automatically generates lab requisitions, tracks equipment location and calibration, ties personal samples to medical surveillance program enrollees, and stores respirator fit test records.

Gene discussed how Cority has improved data completion and quality with its ability to check for common data errors, track incomplete surveys and samples, highlight missing fields or illogical data entry, and run custom queries to check for specific deficiencies. He also discussed how Cority has improved program management through its reporting and tracking processes.

Future implementation of Cority includes increase use of respiratory fit tests, historical personal sample history, and SEG management. For more information or to see screenshots, see the PowerPoint presentation slides at

Open Discussion

Will Artley briefly discussed the results of the steering committee/guest poll on the use of virtual meeting platforms. The survey revealed that most steering committee members and guests have access to WebEx. As a result, the next IH/OS SIG steering committee meeting will be conducted using WebEx to test its functionality and ease of use.

Future Steering Committee Conference Call Meeting

The next Steering Committee Conference Call meeting is scheduled on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm EDT.


Separating Line

Archived Steering Committee Meeting Notes

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These pages were developed under contract number DE-AC05-06OR23100 between Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information contact Will Artley, IH/OS SIG Coordinator, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, PO Box 117, MS 10, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0117.

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