Steps in ISEMS:
The system we've put together here at SLAC for integrated safety and
environmental management uses terms you may not have used before. When
asking if you use ISEMS in your work, you might also be asked if you follow
'Core Functions' and 'Guiding Principles'. In this page, we try and
explain what those are, and show how they tie together.
See the ESH Definitions page
for a list of terms commonly used in ESH programs and documents.
The key logo for ISEMS is a circle diagram with 5
show how the process is on-going and will feed directly into the
next project. When safety and environmental management is
truly 'integrated' into our work, the process runs smoothly and
The five steps are called "Core Functions" (a DOE term which
SLAC also uses). They are:
Question to Ask
||What do I want to do?
||In this step, we take our assignment (or mission)
and look at what we need to do for it.
We should set your expectations (what do we expect to
accomplish?), identify tasks to be done (and prioritize
them), and find out what resources are needed.
During the scope, don't forget to review any safety or
environmental policies or compliance that will need to
|2. Analyze hazards
||What are the risks of doing it?
||Very closely tied with the scope, in this step we
look at everything identified in the scope and figure
out if there are any hazards associated with the job.
Are any of the tasks hazardous (to either people or the
environment) in themselves? Do the resources
you'll use have their own hazards (such as power tools
Did you come across policies you'll have to follow?
Analyze the various hazards you found, and see if you
can categorize them for easier control.
|3. Control for hazards
can I control those risks?
||Now that we know the hazards, we can plan for how we
can do our work safely (for both people and the
This is where those policies we found earlier come in
useful. Many esh policies also come with guidance
and procedures on how to safety carry out tasks.
There is also usually a program manager assigned to each
topic to help us.
With the aid of the policies and the people, we can
identify which standards and requirements apply to our
job, figure out controls to prevent (or mitigate as much
as we can) the hazards, and then set them up.
|4. Perform work
||Do it (controlling for risks)
||We double-check that we're ready to work, and then
do the job.
While on the job, we work within the controls we set up
to protect people and the environment. Appropriate
emergency guidelines are also followed.
|5. Feedback and Improvement
||Evaluate performance. How can I do better next time?
||When we're done, we're not quite done. An
important part of our job is feedback and evaluation.
This step loops us back to the top of the circle so we
can more easily and safely do our next job.
After the job, we collect information on how well the
controls helped for mitigating hazards, check if there
are ways we can improve the definition and planning of
work (and note them down for the next scope process),
find out if line and independent oversight was
conducted, and, if necessary, regulatory enforcement
actions need to occur. Post-work also includes any
environmental measurement and monitoring that's needed.
The system of integrating safety and environmental management
into our work has seven "guiding principles" that we follow.
These are ideas that we believe in at SLAC, and if we adopt them
into our regular way of thinking and doing, they will make us
all safer. When we look at the work we're doing, sometimes
it can be helpful to ask ourselves, "does this follow our
Idea Behind It
|1. Line management responsibility for safety
||Line management is directly responsible for the
protection of the public, the workers, and the
This principle is followed in such ways as setting up
reviews and checks, where line management makes sure
they know what work is being performed, and is familiar
with what steps are taken along the ISEMS Core Function
process during the work.
|2. Clear roles and responsibilities
||Clear and unambiguous lines of authority and
responsibility for ensuring safety shall be established
and maintained at all organizational levels.
Guidance documents, policies, procedures, and routines
should all follow this principle. If roles and
responsibilities are clear, it's much easier to control
for hazards and follow regulations.
|3. Competence commensurate with responsibilities
||Personnel shall possess the experience,
knowledge, skills, and abilities that are necessary to
discharge their responsibilities.
Basically, we should know how to do our jobs. In
GP1 above, line management is responsible for making
sure that GP3 here is followed. Knowing all the
steps in a job, and knowing what workers have been
trained to do and can do, is important to assigning the
right job to the right people. This is also where
the SLAC Training Assessment is primarily involved with
ISEMS, as a tool to help identify what training needs
are for people.
|4. Balanced priorities
||Resources shall be effectively allocated to
address safety, programmatic, and operational
considerations. Protecting the public, the workers, and
the environment shall be a priority whenever activities
are planned and performed.
Here at SLAC, we have specific funding for jobs, and
other resources we can use are often defined by what
else is going on. In our CF1 above, when we scope
our work, we should take our resources into account and
plan how best to use them. By this principle, and
by the published SLAC Safety Values, safety and the
environment should be first on our list.
|5. Identification of safety standards and requirements
||Before work is performed, the associated hazards
shall be evaluated. An agreed upon set of safety
standards and requirements shall be established which,
if properly implemented, will provide adequate assurance
that the public, the workers, and the environment are
protected from adverse consequences.
This principle goes directly with CF1, CF2, and CF3 as
inside scoping work we check for safety and
environmental regulations and policies, and then use
them in analyzing the hazards and making controls.
|6. Hazard controls tailored to work performed
||Administrative and engineering controls to
prevent and mitigate hazards shall be tailored to the
work being performed and associated hazards.
This is very close to CF3, Control for Hazards.
What makes this a principle is the idea of tailoring the
controls. When we think about what controls should
be in place, sometimes it's easy to take an existing set
from somewhere else and put it down as is. But is
this really following GP4 above? What if the
controls are larger than the project, and more expensive
as well? Or, alternatively, are too little and
we're not as safe as we should be? We should
always double-check our controls to make sure they're
just what are needed for the task at hand.
|7. Operations authorized
||The conditions and requirements to be satisfied
for operations to be initiated and conducted shall be
clearly established and agreed-upon.
Similar to GP1 and GP2, where we identify clear roles
and make sure line management is involved, this
principle is to be before CF4 where we perform the work
and ties in with CF1 where scope takes place.
Making sure that everybody is in agreement with the
expectations of the job, and also the controls for
hazards (CF3) often ensures that the work will proceed
smoothly and there are no unpleasant surprises at the