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.

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September 26, 2021

Introduction

The Industrial Hygiene/Occupational Safety Special Interest Group (IH/OS SIG) Steering Committee met on September 26, 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)
  • Will Artley, ORAU
  • April Brown, DOE-AU-11
  • Cindy Casalina, DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
  • Stephen Chiusano, DOE
  • Walter Czekaj, WIPP
  • Joe Dobbins, DOE-AU-11
  • Douglas Eddy, DOE Livermore Field Office
  • Moriah Ferullo, DOE-AU-11
  • Kul Garg, DOE-NNSA
  • Julie Hanebuth, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
  • Jessy Innocent, DOE-NNSA
  • Caleb Lynch, Kansas City Nuclear Security Campus (KCNSC)
  • Elizabeth Marcotte, DOE
  • Cindy Saban, DOE Savannah River Site (SRS)
  • Bill Schleyer, DOE-NNSA
  • John Sewell, Independent ESH Consultant
  • Joseph Sobieraj, DOE-NNSA-NPO
  • Sharon Steele, DOE-NNSA
  • Dina Siegel, LANL
  • Bob Weeks, LANL

Topics covered in this meeting were:

  • DOE News
  • Biennial Review of Nuclear Safety Performance
  • Safety as a Culture?
  • Electrifying and Shocking (Recent Electrical Safety Program)

DOE News – Robin Keeler, AU-11

Robin Keeler, AU-11, gave an update on the following:

New Staff

  • Mr. Kevin Dressman, previously the Director of Enforcement (EA-10), is the new director for AU-10 (the previous director was Dr. Pat Worthington; Mr. Brad Davey was Acting Director for the last 8 months following Dr. Worthington’s retirement).
  • Mr. Michael Boley is a new industrial hygienist in AU-11.

Policy

  • DOE-STD-1149, Safety and Health Program for DOE Construction Projects – The project justification statement (PJS) memo is published; the technical review process is ongoing.
  • DOE-STD 1121, Internal Dosimetry – The review process/revision is ongoing.
  • HDBK 1130, Radiological Worker Training – The review process/revision is ongoing.
  • HDBKs 1100, Chemical Process Hazards Analysis & 1101, Process Safety Management for Highly Hazardous Chemicals – A Reaffirmation with Change Notice is pending submittal to RevCom.
  • HDBK 1092, DOE Electrical Safety Handbook – It is under policy revision preparing for RevCom submission. Final review is underway.
  • Drafting NEW DOE-STD-1239-2021, Chemical Safety Management – The writing team is led by April Brown (AU-11). This standard addresses chemical safety management and the nuclear safety basis design.
  • DOE HDBK 1211 Activity-Level Work Planning and Control Implementation – This handbook is beginning the revision process and PJS. Steve Singal, the AU-11 team lead, is asking for more people to assist in the review and revision process. Contact Steve or Robin Keeler if interested.
  • NEW DOE Technical standard on Heat stress & physiological monitoring – The writing team is finalizing and will prepare the PJS.

Silica in Construction: Technical Advisory Workgroup White Paper

The white paper drafted by the DOE Silica Technical Advisory Working Group was finalized. The white paper identifies constraints and challenges the DOE construction community has with complying with the 2016 American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist’s respirable crystalline silica Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 25 µg/m3, which was adopted by DOE in its 2017 technical amendment to 10 CFR Part 851. The white paper also provides recommendations for near-term actionable, specific, and realistic recommendations that can be implemented by DOE construction contractors to comply with the TLV more easily, including a draft interim modified Table 1 for DOE. The table lists 18 common silica-generating construction tasks that use various types of tools or equipment along with specified engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection. The paper will be provided to anyone interested in reviewing and commenting on it.

Meetings/WebExs

COVID-19

  • The DOE Attestation form is available at https://myenergy.servicenowservices.com/myenergy/.
  • Covered contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation.
  • Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than December 8, 2021
  • For Feds: Additional information on getting vaccinated can be found on DOE website, and key dates to be aware of when scheduling your COVID-19 vaccination are found below.
      Moderna Pfizer-BioNTech Johnson & Johnson
    FIRST SHOT October 11, 2021 October 18, 2021 November 8, 2021
    SECOND SHOT November 8, 2021 November 8, 2021 n/a
    FULLY VACCINATED November 22, 2021 November 22, 2021 November 22, 2021
  • FAQs are being updated.
  • The DOE COVID-19 Safety Plan (August 20) is currently being updated. It is available at https://www.energy.gov/covid/doe-safety-strategy.
  • The DOE COVID-19 Hub is available at https://www.energy.gov/covid/coronavirus-doe-response. DOE-wide COVID-19 information is available at https://www.energy.gov/covid/faqs and DOE’s Powerpedia pages at https://powerpedia.energy.gov/wiki/Portal:COVID-19. All DOE employees (contractors and feds) have access to Powerpedia.
  • • The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (“Task Force”) has new updates https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/new/. This is the guidance that DOE follows. It is a good reference that has information for feds and contractors.

COVID-19 questions can be submitted to the DOE COVID Hotline. The COVID-19 Hotline is available for reporting cases as well for answering questions by calling (202) 586-2683 or by e-mailing COVID-19inquiries@hq.doe.gov.

Biennial Review of Nuclear Safety Performance – Sharon Steele, DOE-NNSA

Sharon Steele from the Office of the Chief of Defense Nuclear Safety (CDNS) at DOE-NNSA gave a presentation on the biennial review of nuclear safety performance, explaining that it is an NA-1 self-assessment of nuclear safety and a major piece of HQ Governance in nuclear safety. These reviews evaluate the level of compliance, effectiveness, and performance of nuclear safety oversight by the NNSA field offices that have nuclear safety responsibilities. They also Improve performance, help ensure nuclear safety requirements and guidance are implemented appropriately and effectively, and provide objective, value-added information for NNSA managers.

The biennial baseline review scope (functional areas that CDNS always evaluate, as applicable to the site) includes:

  • Nuclear safety basis
  • Quality assurance
  • Fire protection
  • Criticality safety
  • Readiness (startup/restart)
  • Oversight
  • Integrated safety management system (functions, responsibilities, and authorities)

The biennial flex scope includes other functional areas based on emerging issues at the site or NNSA enterprise concerns:

  • ISMS (contracts)
  • Packaging and transportation
  • Facility representative
  • Conduct of engineering
  • Conduct of maintenance
  • Radiation protection
  • Radiological waste management
  • Maintenance
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Contractor training and qualification
  • Conduct of operations
  • Nuclear explosive safety

The biennial review assessment forms identify notable conditions, both positive and adverse:

  • Issue – A condition or situation that has led, or could lead, to degraded nuclear safety performance. Each issue is categorized as either a finding or a weakness:
    • Finding – A violation of an identified requirement.
    • Weakness – A situation that, while not a direct violation of an identified requirement, may, if not resolved, lead to degradation in nuclear safety performance.
  • Management Concern – A significant issue, or collection of similar issues, that indicates a systemic problem.
  • Opportunity for Improvement – A condition for which a best practice or process improvement would result in improved efficiency. They are opinions of the team and the field office may consider the recommendations for implementation.
  • Noteworthy Practice – A condition, practice, or situation that is highlighted for management attention for possible expanded implementation or communication to other field offices.

The biennial review has a 3-month timeline. The first month consists of developing the scope of the review and conducting a previsit with the field office. The actual review (observations, site tours, interviews, and analysis) is done during the second and third months. The review is then closed out at the end of the third month.

The schedule for Fiscal Year 2022 calls for a biennial review of NNSA Production Office (Pantex and Y-12), Livermore Field Office, and Sandia Field Office.

Safety as a Culture? – John Sewell

John Sewell, an independent environment, safety, and health consultant, gave a presentation on safety as a culture, explaining that people need to make safety personal. They need to consider their passions in life, such as their loved ones, when they go to work each day and face potentially hazardous situations. The presentation (see slides at Meeting Presentations - IH/OS SIG) included a long series of photos of everyday activities involving family, friends, and pets to drive home the point that these people need you to come home each day; therefore, you need to make safety personal for their sake.

Electrifying and Shocking (Recent Electrical Safety Program Assessments) – Josef Sobieraj, DOE-NNSA

Josef Sobieraj is the Enterprise Industrial Safety & Hygiene Manager for the NNSA Production Office (NPO). He is responsible for conducting enterprise assessments at DOE's Pantex (Texas) and Y-12 (Tennessee) sites. He presented on recent electrical safety program assessments, stating that electrical safety is one the 12 specified functional areas of 10 CFR 851 (Worker Safety and Health) and it crosscuts many disciplines, such as engineering, infrastructure/maintenance/utilities, and construction projects.

In the spring of 2019, NNSA's Office of Safety (NA-51) launched the Safety Checkerboards/Safety Functional Area Lead (SFAL) initiative as part of its Governance and Management Framework. NNSA's Office of Worker Safety & Health Services (NA-513) SFALs requested field office "Consequence," "Confidence," and "Health" ratings every 4 months for each program (e.g., Electrical Safety). The 2019 NPO Electrical Safety input was low for "Confidence," which generated uncertainty in the "Health" rating.

In 2019–2020, the NA-513 Electrical Safety SFAL was assessing NNSA sites using a standardized Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG) Criteria Review and Analysis Document (CRAD) with nine criteria to establish baseline. The NPO Senior Industry Advisory Panel (SIAP) assessment was scheduled and completed in 2021.

NPO used a "hybrid" approach to the assessment, stretching out the assessment over several months. Document reviews and interviews were completed in person and virtually. This was the first comprehensive assessment of the Electrical Safety Program since the joining of Pantex and Y-12 as an enterprise in 2014.

Of the nine criteria, four were "Met," four were "Partially Met," and one was "Not Met." The assessment also resulted in four "Findings," two "Performance Problems," eight "Observations," and three "Noteworthy Practices." Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) transmitted a Corrective Action Plan, as required, addressing "Findings" and "Performance Problems" and also addressing "Observations," which is not required.

The major issue "groupings" coming out the assessment were:

  • Improving the electrical authority having jurisdiction (AHJ)/electrical contractor AHJ (ECAHJ)
  • Re-energizing electrical safety committees
  • Performing required and elective assessments
  • Other issues identified
  • Positive assessment results

Other Issues Identified

Below are other issues identified during the SIAP assessment include the following:

  • CNS identifies qualifications for the ECAHJs at Pantex, but not at Y-12.
  • There should be enhanced and more regular interaction between the AHJ and ECAHJs similar to, and possibly in conjunction with, the Fire Protection/Explosive Safety CAHJs, as appropriate.
  • Contrary to the requirements of NFPA 70E 110.1(I)(2), the CNS Electrical Safety Program does not have an identified process to audit field work.
  • CNS generates Electrical Safety Program monthly status and information reports for Pantex, but not for Y-12.
  • CNS should intensify its efforts to address the lack of configuration management on numerous facility electrical systems due to the resulting increase in personal safety and mission risk.
  • Pantex does not test trip set points on its low voltage (less 600v) breakers. This potential issue is still being evaluated by the NPO Maintenance Manager.

Positive Assessment Results

Positive assessment results include the following:

  • Training/Qualification – CNS has established an effective training and qualification program to implement the electrical safety program at each site.
  • Noteworthy Practice (Enterprise) – CNS administratively links equipment inspections to permitting, design, and authorization to energize equipment. This practice of using a permitting process is not universal across DOE installations and is considered a best practice.
  • Noteworthy Practice (Enterprise) – CNS ECAHJs/SMEs from Pantex and Y-12 took the initiative to meet and discuss relevant/current issues serving as an excellent example of enterprise level sharing of lessons learned and corporate operating experience.
  • Noteworthy Practice (Enterprise) – CNS recognizes the importance of and is actively supporting the NNSA SAFER initiative by serving as the lead NNSA site to develop an Electrical Safety module. (SAFER is identified as NA-50 Roadmap Initiative 1. "Safety Analytics – The Safety Analytics, Forecasting & Evaluation Reporting Project.")

In conclusion:

  • NPO completed its first comprehensive Electrical Safety Program assessment: “We now know what we know and know what we don’t know.”
  • CNS is generally lacking effective performance metrics to indicate program health.
  • NPO/CNS Electrical Safety Program interaction has significantly improved since the assessment.
  • NPO and NA-513 SFAL have increased the Safety Checkerboard "Confidence" rating.
  • NPO/CNS leading the way in the development of the SAFER Electrical Safety module to standardize and display performance metrics across NNSA.
  • NPO benefited from external subject matter expert support and was used to help qualify external assessors (Win/Win).

Future Steering Committee Meeting

The next Steering Committee meeting will be held on October 26, 2021, from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern Time.

 

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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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