In January, 1997, the Office of Oversight within the Office of Environment, Safety and Health of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) began an evaluation of Brookhaven National Laboratory's environment, safety and health (ES&H) management programs.
Over the course of several months, the Oversight team made an in-depth review of ES&H management at Brookhaven, and within the Department of Energy's Brookhaven Group and other relevant offices.
ES&H management was evaluated at a selected sample of BNL facilities: the High Flux Beam Reactor, the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, the National Synchrotron Light Source and the Chemistry Department. The team's findings and recommendations are contained in an Integrated Safety Management Evaluation of Brookhaven National Laboratory.
In relation to Brookhaven activities, the team's recommendations address the need to strengthen Laboratory management and establish a strong, comprehensive ES&H culture at Brookhaven. BNL has already begun to address the two areas identified in the report as needing immediate action hazard control and supervision for electrical work at an accelerator facility, and training for radiological technicians.
The report also highlights many areas where new initiatives are needed and existing programs must be strengthened. As well, the ISME report acknowledges positive achievements in the areas of BNL's self-assessment program, improvements in the conduct of operations, experiment safety and ES&H revitalization, and a performance-based contracted services selection process that emphasizes ES&H performance.
Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), the nonprofit research management organization that operates BNL, and the Laboratory itself, are prepared to act aggressively on the team's recommendations.
Over the next several months, BNL and AUI intend to take the following initiatives to begin the process of elevating ES&H issues to the same level as the award-winning science for which the Laboratory is world-renowned. These initiatives are intended to fulfill simultaneously the recommendations of the ISME report and an ES&H decision-making review performed by top Laboratory scientific managers together with a representative of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
Within the next 60 days, with input from the groups noted above, BNL will submit a more detailed Implementation Plan, outlining specific actions to be taken, together with associated cost, schedule and management information.
BNL and AUI find the ISME report to be well-founded, presenting a balanced assessment which will be a valuable tool in our move toward an integrated safety management culture at the Laboratory. We appreciate the efforts of the team, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the DOE to ensure the long-term success of BNL and to reestablish the trust of the Long Island community.