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Photon Sciences Directorate at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Photon Sciences EHS Group Expands,
Evolves in 2010

Steve Hoey

"We’re proud of the excellent safety record we earned in 2010. It would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication, and experience of the EHS staff and the continuing efforts of our contractors to work more safely." — Steve Hoey Manager, Environment, Safety and Health

Fiscal year 2010 was busy for Environment, Safety, and Health (ESH) staff in the Photon Sciences Directorate, due in no small part to the year-long strategic planning leading up to the reorganization of the directorate at year’s end and the continuing rapid growth of NSLS-II.

Photon Sciences ESH already has an excellent safety record under its belt. In 2010, as was the case with the Laboratory as a whole, a strong emphasis was placed on reducing injuries. As a result, there were far fewer accidents among Photon Sciences staff and NSLS-II contractors than in 2009. In fact, in the directorate the only incidents were six first-aid cases, statistics that are well within DOE Office of Science goals. Among the contractors, the injury rates are far better than that of industry in general.

The directorate's exemplary record can be partly attributed to a major “housekeeping” event that took place early in the year, in which staff identified hundreds of safety issues, both large and small. About a third were addressed on the spot, with the remaining items eventually tracked to completion — the most successful housekeeping effort at Brookhaven. Additionally, 18 safety audits conducted throughout the year yielded few findings.

Another notable event was the replacement of a large water-cooling tower on the NSLS roof. The tower needed a new support structure, and staff decided to take the opportunity to swap out the aging tower. This difficult and potentially dangerous task was completed swiftly and without incident.

Radiation safety at NSLS-II was a focus, with a third radiation safety workshop held in June 2010. Experts from Brookhaven and other synchrotrons came together to discuss safety design at the new facility. The design has evolved tremendously since 2008; among its many components will be an advanced system of radiation monitors.

Key steps in the process to ready NSLS-II for operations included completing the Fire Hazards Analysis and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants assessment, the latter showing that the radiation dose to staff will be well below federal standards. Members of the general public are not expected to be exposed to any radiation when NSLS-II is operating.

Overall, Photon Sciences ESH continues to adapt to the challenges of a new and rapidly growing directorate.

Non-construction Injury Cases

non construction injury cases chart