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Safety

The Office of Environmental Management has lower rates of TRCs and DART cases over the past 12 quarters than the Department of Energy as a whole. EM’s trend line also shows that it has lower rates than industries that perform similar work, such as the construction and waste management and remediation service sectors.

The Office of Environmental Management has lower rates of TRCs and DART cases over the past 12 quarters than the Department of Energy as a whole. EM’s trend line also shows that it has lower rates than industries that perform similar work, such as the construction and waste management and remediation service sectors.

On February 7, 2014, Matthew Moury, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Safety, Security, and Quality Programs Environmental Management, DOE, formally appointed an Accident Investigation Board to investigate an underground mine fire involving a salt haul truck occurred at DOE's WIPP near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The Board began the investigation on February 10, 2014, and the report is now final and available for the public. Please click here to see the report.

The Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) top priority is completing its mission safely to protect our employees, local communities and physical assets from injury and damage. Our team is always assessing the best methods to improve our safety culture through leadership, training, worker feedback and input from citizens.

Major Responsibilities

  • Develops and refines safety policy and standards for the Office of Environmental Management.
     
  • Track and analyze safety data across EM sites to identify trends that may help to avert future safety incidents and share lessons learned.
     
  • Perform targeted and comprehensive safety assessments at our EM sites to study the effectiveness of contractor and field oversight systems.
     
  • Serves as liaison to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and the Central Technical Authority.
     
  • Oversees the startup and restart of nuclear facilities and Operational Readiness Reviews.
     
  • Provides technical leadership in safety disciplines like radiation protection and fire protection.
     
  • Ensures proper implementation and continuous improvement of Integrated Safety Management systems.

Integrated Safety Management

EM integrates environment, safety and health requirements and controls into all work activities and oversees implementation of Integrated Safety Management (ISM) within federal and contractor activities to ensure protection to the worker, public and the environment.

Los Alamos National Laboratory celebrates the 1000th shipment of transuranic waste from the Laboratory to a permanent repository at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, N.M.

The EM safety culture is founded on several key principles:

  • An environment where each employee instinctively feels responsible for safety.

  • Leaders demonstrate commitment to safety.

  • Trust towards each other is a signature of the organization.
     
  • Decision-making reflects safety as the overriding priority.
     
  • An inquisitive attitude and behavior towards challenging assumptions and considering potential adverse consequences of planned actions.
     
  • A disciplined authorization basis system is essential to ensuring all hazards are identified and mitigated before work begins.
     
  • Organizational learning is embraced.
     
  • We openly examine our operations and solicit feedback from external resources.

The Office of Environmental Management has high expectations for establishing and maintaining a safety conscious work environment for our field sites.  

  • Safety is the top priority for the Office of Environmental Management and its field sites.  It is valued above production, budget and schedule.
     
  • Safety drives how we do business. EM federal staff will not accept
    shortcuts which circumvent safety or yield less than quality results.
     
  • This systematic approach creates a culture of personal responsibility for all employees.
     

We follow the Department of Energy Safety Management System Policy, a systematic approach for selecting and incorporating the appropriate safety standards, necessary work controls and expectation of continuous feedback and improvement.

We strive to create an accident-free workplace through careful planning, close attention to hazard controls, worker involvement in task planning and stopping work in the face of uncertainty. EM encourages an environment with an open exchange of ideas among federal employees and contractors. This includes raising safety concerns and differing opinions without fear of retaliation. EM expects employees to protect themselves and others against accidents, raise safety issues and provide feedback for improving work processes.

Safety and Design Integration

The Office of Environmental Management is responsible for several newly constructed or planned nuclear facilities, as well as major modifications to existing nuclear facilities. DOE places additional emphasis on ensuring that safety is fully integrated into early phases of facility design. The Department strengthened DOE Order Program and Project Management for the Acquisition of Capital Assets so that nuclear safety requirements are fully integrated in the early phases of design.

Worker Safety and Health

EM establishes and implements Integrated Safety Management systems to ensure work is performed Recovery Act worker Rebecca Daniels, an ex-Marine, is a self-described tomboy who loves the challenge of working amid hazardous chemicals to clean up old buildings at the Paducah Site and prepare them for demolition.safely. Contractors are required by contract to put in place requirements outlined in Department of Energy order Worker Protection Management for DOE Federal and Contractor Employees. Some of the features of the Worker Safety and Health Program include:

The Department of Energy’s framework for federal and contractor worker protection management is also covered by the by 10 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 851 Worker Safety and Health Program.  This requirement applies Department contractors doing work at DOE sites. The 10 CFR 851 is enforceable by civil penalties issued by the Department of Energy’s Office of Enforcement, in addition to contract penalties.