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10 C.F.R. 851: Worker Safety and Health Program

Stakeholders: DOE contractors; Employee(s) of DOE contractors

Scope: 10 C.F.R. 851 outlines the requirements for a worker safety/health program to ensure that DOE contractors and their workers operate a safe workplace. Additionally, 10 C.F.R. 851 establishes procedures for investigating whether a violation of a requirement of this part has occurred, for determining the nature and extent of any such violation, and for imposing an appropriate remedy.

Summary:

  • Subpart A – General Provisions: Compliance Order: 10 C.F.R. § 851.4
    • The Secretary of Energy may issue a Compliance Order to any DOE contractor which:
      • Identifies violations of enumerated requirements
      • Mandates a remedy to address these violations and;
      • States the reasons for the remedy, work stoppage, or other action.
    • Compliance Orders issued by the Secretary are final, effective immediately, and are to be posted for public viewing
    • Within 15 calendar days of issuance the recipient of the Order may request that the Secretary rescind or modify the Order.
  • Subpart B – Program Requirements: 10 C.F.R. § 851.10-13
    • General requirements— Contractors must provide a hazard free place of employment and ensure that all work performed is in compliance with the worker safety and health program. 10 C.F.R. § 851.10
    • Development and approval of worker safety and health programs— Contractors are responsible for establishing and implementing a worker safety and health program in compliances with this section. This worker safety and health program must be approved and annually reviewed according to DOE. 10 C.F.R. § 851.11
    • Implementation— Contractors must implement the requirements outlined in the worker safety and health program. 10 C.F.R. § 851.12
    • Compliance— Contractors are expected to achieve compliance no later than May 25, 2007. 10 C.F.R. § 851.13
  • Subpart C – Specific Program Requirements 10 C.F.R. 851.20-29:
    • Management responsibilities and workers rights and responsibilities— Contractors are responsible for the health and safety of their workforce. Thus contractors must, under 10 C.F.R. § 851.20:
      • Establish written policy and goals for the worker safety and health program
      • Employ qualified staff to implement and oversee the worker safety and health program
      • Assign worker safety and health program responsibilities
      • Facilitate employee involvement in the worker health and safety program
      • Ensure that information regarding the worker health and safety program is accessible to the employee regulated under the program
      • Establish procedure for workers to report job related injuries, illness, and hazards
      • Ensure a deliberate and expedient response to reports of job-related injuries
      • Ensure that workers are privy to frequent communications with employers regarding workplace safety
      • Establish procedures that allow workers to cease/decline to partake to in work that may threaten the livelihood, safety, and/or wellbeing of employees.
      • Notify workers of their rights and responsibilities and ensure that DOE-designated Worker Protection Posters are visible and prominently placed.
  • Workers must comply with rights and responsibilities enumerated in Subpart C of 10 C.F.R. 851. These rights and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
    • Workers must comply with all mandates listed in the worker safety and health program.
      • Workers have the right to access DOE safety publications and guidelines, the worker safety and health program, the standards/procedures applicable to workplace, the safety and health poster that informs workers and any other pertinent information that address employee health and safety.
      • Workers have the right to be notified when it become known that workers were over-exposed to hazardous material.
      • Workers have the right to observe the measuring/monitoring of hazardous material and be privy to the results of their own exposure monitoring.
      • Workers have the right to mandate that an employee representative be present to observe/assist in workplace investigations.
      • Workers have the right to request, receive, and review results from workplace investigations and inspections.
      • Workers have the right to express concerns regarding safety and health within the workplace.
      • Workers have the right to decline to perform tasks that they believe will endanger their lives and/or threaten their physical well-being. More specifically, if the worker does not have sufficient time to partake in the prescribed hazard reporting/abatement procedures then the worker can simply decline to partake in the allegedly hazardous activity.
      • Workers have the right to cease work upon discovering that work is exposing them hazardous conditions. This cessation of work must be done in accordance with the procedures established in the worker safety and health program.
    • Hazard identification and assessment10 C.F.R. § 851.21
      • Contractors are to establish a procedure to identify and assess present and possible workplace hazards. The procedure must include methods to:
        • Assess worker exposure to chemical, physical, biological, or safety workplace hazards.
        • Document the results of assessment and testing methodologies.
        • Record observations, testing, and monitoring.
        • Analyze designs of new facilities for potential workplace hazards.
        • Evaluate facility operations to identify workplace hazards.
        • Perform periodic activity-level hazard analysis.
        • Review site safety and health experience information.
    • Hazard prevention and abatement10 C.F.R. § 851.22
      • Contractors are responsible for preventing and /or addressing and abating potential hazards in a timely manner.
    • Safety and health standards10 C.F.R. § 851.23
      • Contractors are mandated to comply with the safety standards enumerated in listed codes/regulations.
    • Recordkeeping and reporting10 C.F.R. § 851.26
      • Contractors must keep complete and accurate record of all hazard inventory information. In addition, contractors are obligated to report and investigate all alleged accidents and injuries.
  • Subpart D outlines the procedures for DOE Contractors seeking a variance in safety protocol - 10 C.F.R. § 851.30-34
  • Subpart E describes the enforcement process, including the investigation and inspections of the DOE contractor sites. This section also outlines the process for final department decisions, appeals, and settlements/remedies. 10 C.F.R. § 851.40
    • The Director, as principle enforcement officer of DOE, may initiate and conduct investigations and inspections relating to the scope, nature and extent of compliance by a contractor and take such action as the Director deems necessary.
    • Any worker or worker representative may request that the Director initiate an investigation or inspection.
    • Based on a determination by the Director that there is a reasonable basis to believe a contractor has violated or is continuing to violate a requirement of this part, the Director may issue a preliminary notice of violation (PNOV) to the contractor.
    • If the violation continues, the Director may issue to the contractor a final notice of violation that states concisely the determined violation and any remedy, including the amount of any civil penalty imposed on the contractor.
    • Any contractor that receives a final notice of violation may petition the Office of Hearings and Appeals for review of the final notice in accordance with part 1003, subpart G of this title, within 30 calendar days from receipt of the final notice.

10 C.F.R. 851