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Integrated Safety and Environmental Management Systems
Overview Steps in ISEMS
(explaining CF/GP)
Relating to
Other Programs

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.

Core Functions

The key logo for ISEMS is a circle diagram with 5 arrows/steps to 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 continuously.

The five steps are called "Core Functions" (a DOE term which SLAC also uses).  They are:

Core Function

Question to Ask


1. Define scope 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 be followed.
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 or lasers)? 

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 How 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 environment).
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.

Guiding Principles

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 guiding principles?"

Guiding Principle

Idea Behind It

1. Line management responsibility for safety Line management is directly responsible for the protection of the public, the workers, and the environment.

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 end.


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