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From the Director: Changes to the Safety Officer Program

As we continue to improve the performance of the mission support functions, one important area of focus is the way that the Environmental Safety & Health (ES&H) division integrates with laboratory management. As the Acting Laboratory Director, I ultimately hold the responsibility for safety and compliance with ES&H requirements. To assist in this important task, I have created a new role within the Director's Council, that of Chief Safety Officer (CSO). This person, who also serves as the Director of the ES&H Division, has the primary responsibility and decision making authority for the implementation of laboratory ES&H policies and requirements. In addition, the CSO may designate qualified individuals as Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) or Safety Officers (SO) where appropriate in certain ES&H disciplines. Until a permanent CSO is selected, I have asked Sayed Rokni to serve as the Acting Chief Safety Officer. I am deeply grateful that Sayed has accepted this additional responsibility.

The creation of the CSO position is just one step that will aid in our shift to a truly safety-based culture at SLAC. It will only be effective if it is accompanied by real ownership and involvement throughout the line organization of a vigorous safety-first culture along with well-focused, clear management responsibility and accountability to get it right.

Under the Integrated Safety and Environmental Management System (ISEMS) principles, we emphasize that responsibility for the implementation of the safety programs belongs in the line organizations. The ES&H functions support the line in accomplishing this. The Safety Officers, who will now report to the Chief Safety Officer, are critical elements of the support to the line organization. SOs must be qualified professionals in their respective fields and have demonstrated experience in building partnerships and influencing directions across various levels of the organization in a facilitative manner. At the same time, they must have the ability to recognize and control hazards and prevent or stop unsafe or unauthorized work in their areas of responsibility.

We are very fortunate at SLAC to have individuals willing to serve in these challenging roles. With the appointment of the CSO there will be some changes in the existing structure. Ralph Kerwin has been appointed as the new Fire Marshal. Ted Fieguth has agreed to serve as the Laser Safety Officer (LSO) while a search for a full-time, long-term LSO is being conducted. Sayed will continue as the Radiation Safety Officer, and Fred Jones has agreed to serve as acting Electrical Safety Officer (ESO) while a search for a permanent ESO is conducted. Additionally, new regulations have led to a restructuring of the pressure safety program and the position of Pressure Vessel Safety Officer (PVSO) is no longer necessary and has been eliminated.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Safety Officers, Richard F. Boyce and Perry Anthony, for their service to the laboratory. Richard was the PVSO for five years, and will continue to be a member of the Hazardous Experimental Equipment Committee and support the LCLS project. Perry took on the ESO job in the aftermath of the electrical arc flash accident in October 2004, and he created and led the electrical safety group within the Facilities organization. As Perry and Richard move on to other tasks at the lab, please join me in wishing them a heartfelt thank you for their service.

Persis Drell, SLAC Today, November 30, 2007

Above image: Sayed Rokni (top left) will now serve as Acting Chief Safety Officer, while Ralph Kerwin (top center) has been appointed as the new Fire Marshal and Ted Fieguth (top right) will serve as the Laser Safety Officer. Fred Jones (bottom left) will become acting Electrical Safety Officer. Many thanks to outgoing Safety Officers Richard F. Boyce (bottom center) and Perry Anthony (bottom right).