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Safety and Health

The DOE Headquarters Safety and Health Program provides information, guidelines, documentation, training, and materials pertaining to many aspects of Safety and Health within the HQ buildings.

Question concerning the Headquarters Safety and Health Program can be directed to the Industrial Hygiene and Safety Office on 202-586-1005, or via e-mail to

Information for Department of Energy Headquarters Personnel

The Office of Industrial Hygiene and Safety (MA-433) has created Headquarters safety and health policies and procedures for Headquarters employees and contractors. These programs help DOE Headquarters meet our responsibilities established by the Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and DOE’s Directive on Worker Safety and Health Protection Program for DOE Federal Workers (DOE O 440.1B dated 5-17-07).

Contents of this page:

Emergency Procedures Videos

Videos showing the emergency procedures specific to your Headquarters building are now available at your desktop through the Online Learning Center (OLC). Specific instructions are provided on our Occupant Emergency Training Videos section of the Drills and Classes page.  Each employee and contractor is required to view the video specific for their building. The videos will be shown on the in house cable channel (where available) as well as in a conference room or auditorium.  The videos are also available from your safety and health representatives.  All videos are open captioned.

Headquarters Work Permit Process

To ensure safe operations when undertaking work at DOE Headquarters, the Office of Industrial Hygiene and Safety has developed a Work Permit document (doc) to help ensure the safety of all workers and headquarters employees.  The form should be completed and brought to the Office of Industrial Hygiene and Safety at GE-112 at the Forrestal facility, or the Germantown Building Manager's office at E-076 for review and sign off.  Any questions can be directed to the Office of Industrial Hygiene and Safety on (202) 586-1005.

Persons With Special Needs

If you have a special need or think that you will have a special need in case of an emergency, please work with your supervisor or Safety and Health representative to ensure that you have a plan, assistance, and the equipment necessary to get you to a safe location in an emergency.

Click here for the Special Needs Form (pdf) which can be used to identify what your needs are.  This form may be printed and sent to Forrestal GE-112.  This form may be filled in and saved with the Acrobat Reader.

Click here for the Special Needs Trifold (pdf) which outlines employee and supervisor actions in the event of an emergency situation.

FEMA Are You Ready? Guidebook, an In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness

Posted on the FEMA website, the guide provides information on how to protect against all types of hazards. The focus is on how to develop, practice, and maintain emergency plans to protect people and property. Also included is information on how to assemble a disaster supplies kit.
FEMA Are You Ready webpage

Emergency Preparedness Resources

The Emergency Notification System (ENS)

During emergencies, the Emergency Notification System (ENS) is one method by which we will notify you of an emergency in your building. The ENS can help you stay informed during an emergency as it allows us to send a text message to Blackberries and cellular telephones.  The ENS is the “pop-up” alert message that takes over your computer and flashes either a red border (if you are the intended audience) or a yellow border (if you have selected to “listen” to messages intended for other buildings). 

Please make sure that your profile is set up correctly.  You can check or change your profile at any time by clicking on the yellow and black circle in the bottom right corner of your computer screen.  Once the “DOEENS Configuration” box pops up, click on the “Profiles” tab.  Ensure that the “Profiles Info” is accurate.  You will receive messages intended for the building selected under the “Profiles Info.”  To “listen” to messages for other buildings, double click on any of the buildings under the section, “I also want to listen for messages in buildings” section.  Once you have made your changes, click on the “Save” button.  You will then have a message box asking if you want to register and use this profile as your default profile.  Please select “Yes.”  You may then click on the “Close” button to close the screen.  If you do not have a yellow and black circle in the lower right corner of your screen, contact your IT support personnel. 

The DOE ALERT Notification System

To enhance our communications capability, the Office of Management has established the “DOE Alert” system.  All Headquarters employees (federal and contractor) can receive text information messages during emergency events on registered text-capable devices (cell phones, PDA’s, alphanumeric pagers, etc).  This system will not work using numeric pagers. 

You will only receive these messages if you register.  Please register to receive emergency text notifications by using the URL,  This URL is available only within the DOE firewall or intranet.  The self-subscribing procedure should take less than ten minutes.  Once completed, you will receive confirmation of your registration at your e-mail address, and you can send a test message to yourself to ensure that you are registered.  If you have a Blackberry, you do not need to enter your e-mail address twice.  If you have any problems during the registration, please contact the Help Desk at 301-903-2500. 

You have the option to register your personal cellular telephone and other personal devices to receive text messages; however, you are responsible for any fees charged by your personal communications carrier for text messages received on your personal devices. 
For more questions you can refer to the site's FAQ section, at:

OPM Determination of Government Operating Status

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) makes the determination regarding the operating status of the Federal government in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  They publish the operating status on their website ( once a decision has been made.  Even if the Federal government is closed, essential employees are still required to report for work.

Forrestal Fire Alarm Evacuation Guidelines, Updated March 2012

In the Forrestal complex the fire alarm will sound only in the building where it was activated.  Only occupants of the building where the alarm was activated will need to evacuate, and evacuation can now be to another building in the complex.  For example, if the alarm activates in the South Building, only the South Building occupants will hear the fire alarm/see strobe lights and only those in the South Building would need to evacuate.

Some guidelines to remember in the event of a fire alarm and evacuation:

  • Take an escape mask and leave the building by the nearest exit.  The nearest exit may include evacuation to another building not in an alarm status.  Do not use the elevators.
  • Remain outside the building or in the non-alarming building until the all clear is given.
  • Irrespective of whether you evacuate to another building or exit the building and report to a muster area, you must await the all clear before returning to your building.  Reporting and accounting for yourself is only required when the entire Forrestal complex is evacuated.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Office of Administration at (202) 586-5710.

Emergency Preparedness During Winter Storms

Winter Storm Emergency Preparedness Presentation (pdf) - created by Maureen Jones, OCIO, and modified by Cherylynne Williams.  It contains helpful information, but is by no means all inclusive.  This is listed along with other emergency preparedness information.

Personal Emergency Plan Review List

This is a good time to review steps you can take at the office and at home to prevent a fire incident.


  • Review your site-specific emergency procedures booklet.
  • Know two separate ways to evacuate your assigned work areas.
  • Know where your assembly point is outside the building.
  • Know the location of your nearest fire extinguisher.
  • Know the emergency telephone numbers for your location.
  • Create a Grab-N-Go kit with important necessities.
  • Take a First Aid, CPR, and AED training class.
  • Get involved as a Warden or Monitor.
  • Let your supervisor or Safety and Health Representative know if you have a special need.


  • Check and replace batteries in smoke detectors as necessary.
  • Service water heaters and furnaces annually.
  • Use only U/L rated electrical cords and replace those that are frayed.
  • Develop and rehearse periodically your home evacuation plan.
  • Do not overload household circuits.
  • Create a Grab-N-Go kit with important necessities

  Other Safety and Health Resources

DOE Web Pages

Other Web Pages

Additional Emergency Preparedness Information

Seasonal Guidelines for Holiday Decorations

To ensure a safe and healthy holiday season, follow this link to the Powerpedia with guidelines for holiday displays and decorations in DOE Headquarters Buildings:
Guidelines for Holiday Decorations

Please direct all questions to the Office of Industrial Hygiene and Safety on (202) 586-1005 or via email at


Last updated 03/03/15