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Worker

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) worker health and safety requirements and expectations ensure protection of workers from the hazards associated with Department operations.  Worker health and safety policy, program tools and assistance resources available for current and former DOE Federal, contractor, and subcontractor workers who work at Department of Energy facilities. 

The Department implements medical surveillance and screening programs for current and former workers and support the Department of Labor in the implementation of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).  Health studies are conducted to determine worker and public health effects from exposure to hazardous materials associated with Department operations and supports international health studies and programs.  Departmental worker health and safety programs and activities also serve to assist DOE Headquarters and field elements in implementation of policy and resolving worker safety and health issues.

Former Worker Medical Screening Program

The Former Worker Medical Screening Program (FWP) provides ongoing medical screening examinations, at no cost, to all former DOE Federal, contractor, and subcontractor workers who may be at risk for occupational diseases. The FWP is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) and reflects our commitment to the health and safety of all DOE workers - past and present - who have served the Nation in its National security and other missions.

The FWP was established following the issuance of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993 (PL 102-484), which called for DOE to assist workers with determining whether they had health issues related to their prior work with DOE. The medical screening efforts were initiated in 1996.

The FWP uses independent occupational health experts from universities, labor unions, and commercial organizations to administer the medical screening program. To ensure objective and credible medical examinations, the exams are offered by third-party providers. Screenings are provided at clinics in communities near DOE sites, as well as through a large network of health clinics nationwide to allow for services to be provided in close proximity to most workers' residences. In fact, this vast network of clinics has allowed the FWP to provide participant exams in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) was enacted to provide compensation and medical benefits to employees who worked at certain Department of Energy (DOE) facilities, including contractors and subcontractors at those locations, and certain number of its vendors.

Adjudication of issues pertaining to all claims for benefits under the EEOICPA is the responsibility of the Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL is supported in its role by the DOE, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Domestic Health Studies and Activities

The Atomic Energy Act of 1957 — Section 8(a) requires research and development activities relating to the protection of health during research and production activities. The requirement is fulfilled by conducting and supporting health studies and other research activities to determine if DOE workers and people living in communities near DOE sites are adversely affected by exposures to hazardous materials from DOE operations; by enabling appropriate responses to disease outbreaks and radiation accidents; and to address critical research needs for important occupational exposures. The ultimate use of the information is to protect and promote the health of DOE workers, their families and residents of neighboring communities and to share the information and data with the public.

International Health Studies and Activities

The purpose of international health studies and activities is to support the health and safety mission of DOE by providing new knowledge and information about the human response to ionizing radiation and other industrial exposures encountered in the workplace or within nearby communities; and as a result of nuclear weapons testing, use and accidents. The activities mandated by congress or required by international agreement include studies of human health, environmental impacts, and provision of medical services. Activities are underway in Japan, Marshall Islands, Russian Federation, and Spain. The studies and activities represent unique opportunities to enhance our knowledge and to establish science-based worker and public protection standards and to fulfill humanitarian purposes.

Worker Safety and Health Policy

Worker Safety and Health Policy establishes Departmental expectations for worker safety and health through the development of rules, directives and guidance. Worker safety and health policy will ensure that workers are adequately protected from hazards associated with DOE sites and operations and reflect national worker safety and health laws, regulations, and standards where applicable.

  • Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program

    The Department of Energy (DOE) established a chronic beryllium disease prevention program (CBDPP) to reduce the number of workers currently exposed to beryllium in the course of their work at DOE facilities managed by DOE or its contractors, minimize the levels of, and potential for, exposure to beryllium, and establish medical surveillance requirements to ensure early detection of the disease.

  • Beryllium-Associated Worker Registry

    The DOE Domestic and International Health Studies supports the operation of a surveillance registry of current workers who are exposed to beryllium in their current job, or may have been exposed to beryllium in the past from work conducted at a DOE site. The goal of the registry is to determine the incidence and prevalence of beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease (CBD). The data will be analyzed to better understand CBD and to identify those at risk. Another goal is to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of DOE's Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program.

  • Nanotechnology Safety

    The Department of Energy's Nanotechnology Safety web site provides a forum for the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and guidance in the area of nanotechnology safety and health management.

  • Biological Safety

    The Department of Energy's (DOE's) Biosafety Homepage provides a forum for the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and guidance in the area of biological safety. This page is supported by the Biosurety Executive Team. The Biosurety Executive Team is a DOE-chartered group. The DOE Office of Worker Safety and Health Policy provides administrative support for this group. The group identifies biological safety-related issues of concern to the DOE and pursues solutions to issues identified.

  • Chemical Safety Program

    The Department of Energy's (DOE's) Chemical Safety Program provides a forum for the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and guidance in the area of chemical management. This content is supported by the Chemical Safety Topical Committee which was formed to identify chemical safety-related issues of concern to the DOE and pursue solutions to issues identified.

  • Construction Safety Advisory Committee

    The Construction Safety Advisory Committee is an advisory body formed to provide the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) field input and perspective in the development and maintenance of DOE construction safety program guidance and in review and resolution of identified generic construction safety issues.

  • Hoisting and Rigging Technical Advisory Committee

    The Hoisting and Rigging Technical Advisory Committee serves as an advisory body to the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) by providing support to their policy efforts aimed at ensuring the safe performance of hoisting and rigging activities at DOE facilities and in the review and resolution of identified generic hoisting and rigging safety issues.

  • Respiratory Protection Program

    Worker Safety and Health Policy coordinates the DOE field responses to national and regulatory issues in respiratory protection and protective clothing. Key topics addressed in the documents included on this website address: Federal regulations and related documents, lessons learned, frequently asked questions, respiratory protection program administrators for each field site, and related links.

  • Safety and Health Regulatory and Policy Response Line

    The Response Line is a service that responds to questions from DOE, DOE contractor, and DOE subcontractor employees regarding applicability of worker safety and health standards and directives.

    The information contained in responses are technical clarifications to a DOE Rule or Directive and should only be applied to the specific conditions described in a response. These responses represent the best available technical knowledge available from the Department's subject matter experts and are NOT binding upon the DOE. These responses DO NOT represent approval of a variance, exemption, or equivalence for any requirements. Requests for exemptions or equivalences for Directives requirements must follow the procedures in DOE O 251.1C. Interpretive rulings, that are binding on DOE, may only be made the Office of General Counsel.

Voluntary Protection Program

The Department of Energy Voluntary Protection Program (DOE-VPP) promotes safety and health excellence through cooperative efforts among labor, management, and government at the Department of Energy (DOE) contractor sites. DOE has also formed partnerships with other Federal agencies and the private sector for both advancing and sharing its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) experiences and preparing for program challenges in the next century. The safety and health of contractor and federal employees are a high priority for the Department.

DOE Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP)

Administered by the HSS Office of Corporate Safety Programs, the DOE Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP) is responsible for implementing performance standards for DOE contractor external dosimetry and radiobioassay programs through periodic performance testing and on-site program assessments. The performance testing function is carried out by the Radiological and Environmental Sciences Laboratory, located at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Corporate FEOSH

The Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health (FEOSH) Program web site is the connection to current safety and health news and issues: Departmental special emphasis initiatives, upcoming activities, resources, contacts, and much, much more.