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The Report Is In!

Three months ago, SLAC Today reported on the DOE Office of Independent Oversight (OIO) Environment, Safety, and Health evaluation of SLAC. Although SLAC management was briefed on the likely conclusions of the evaluation by the OIO team in November, the final report wasn't issued until this month.

The OIO evaluation reports 14 findings, four of which apply to either the DOE Stanford Site Office (SSO) or the Office of Science. Of the remaining ten findings, two of the most wide-ranging deal with how SLAC manages its requirements, such as DOE directives and regulations, and how we do our work planning and control. Many of the other findings were more program-specific, such as improving sub-contractor oversight and expanding the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory Safety Assessment Document to include beamlines. Other findings related to strengthening our various site-wide environmental, safety, and health programs, including radiation protection, industrial hygiene, issues management, self-assessment, and incident investigation.

The receipt of the report starts a 60-day clock for SLAC to develop a corrective action plan (CAP) much like we did following the Type A accident investigation report on the arc-blast incident of October 2004. The CAP must be reviewed and approved by both the SSO and the Office of Science at DOE headquarters within the 60-day period. As such, the lab must submit its draft CAP on February 16, 2007.

The Office of Assurance, under the leadership of recently hired Walter Leclerc, will oversee the development of the CAP. Under the direction of SLAC management, the office has created ten CAP teams, one for each of the ten SLAC-specific findings. Each team is staffed with ample representation from line management; in many cases line managers chair the teams. A core team will help ensure a consistent approach. SLAC has also hired an outside consulting firm, McCallum-Turner, which has a good deal of experience in OIO evaluations to help in the development of the CAP.

The teams, where appropriate, are budgeting a good deal of time to ensure that all OIO report findings are completely addressed. In many cases, a good deal of study and decision making will be required. In a few cases, however, the path forward is fairly "cut-and-dry," and improvements are already underway.

As mentioned, Walter Leclerc has rejoined SLAC as the new Director of the Office of Assurance. Walter worked at SLAC in the 1990s. While at SLAC, he was intimately involved in the ES&H Quality Assurance program. His experience, most recently as the director of ES&H & QA at Kelly Moore Paints, makes him well-suited for the tasks ahead. He also has experience in ES&H management as a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor. Please join us in welcoming Walter back to SLAC.


—Robin Wendt, February 2, 2007