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Audit Report: OAS-L-14-10

August 18, 2014

Integrated Safety Management at the Idaho National Laboratory

The Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory (INL) employs three main contractors to perform the majority of its work. Much of this work involves hazards that pose risk to employees and the environment. In September 2013, the Secretary of Energy reaffirmed the Department's commitment to protect the health and safety of employees, those residing in communities where the Department operates, and any others affected by the Department's work. Given the Department's emphasis on safety, we conducted this audit to determine whether the Department had fully implemented Integrated Safety Management (ISM) at the INL.

In response to significant safety events in recent years, the Idaho Operations Office (Idaho) and its contractors have taken a number of steps to fully implement ISM into site work processes. In particular, between Fiscal Years 2011 and 2013, a number of events, some of which were serious, occurred at all three contractors that pointed to weaknesses in certain ISM core functions. We noted that Idaho and its contractors made notable improvements to ISM core functions and emphasized the responsibility of all employees for safety. However, we also noted certain weaknesses with safety analyses, supervision and safety controls.

Management at Idaho is well aware of the problems, and is taking or has begun to take appropriate actions. Therefore, we are not making formal recommendations in this report.  However, we suggest that the Manager, Idaho Operations Office continue to improve the annual Documented Safety Analyses review process, ensure adequate supervision and reinforce the need for engineered controls.

Topic: National Security & Safety