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Safety Topics

 

LBNL Work Authorizations and Permits

All work at Berkeley Lab (LBNL) must be authorized or permitted.  The most basic authorization that is required for all employees, affiliates and students is the Job Hazard Analysis, or JHA.  There are other authorizations required in addition to the JHA depending on the work you do, and there are a handful of activities that require a permit.

An overview of work activities that require formal authorization or permits beyond the JHA can be found in Appendix B, of PUB-3000, Chapter 6 – http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/pub3000/CH6_AppB.html.

For your convenience, links to the applicable databases or resources are provided below.  For assistance, contact Scott Taylor.


Work Authorizations

Activity Hazard Documents (AHDs) - https://ehswprod.lbl.gov/ahd/login.aspx
AHDs are required for most high risk work activities.  The Life Sciences Division has very few AHDs.
From this web link, PIs and Work Leads can:

Biological Use Authorizations (BUAs, BURs, BUNs) https://ehswprod.lbl.gov/Biosafety/login.aspx
From this web link, PIs and Work Leads can:

An authorization is required for most work with biological material.  Contact Vivian Xian with EH&S to create a new authorization.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHAs) - http://ehswprod.lbl.gov/ehstraining/jha/start.aspx
JHAs and Work Groups can be created and edited from this link.

Radiation Work Authorizations (RWAs) - http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/pub3000/CH21.html#_Toc285639918
All persons working with radioactive materials must be on an authorization.  There is no database for these authorizations.  To create a new authorization, add personnel, change locations, etc., contact the Radiation Protection Group directly.

Subcontractor Job Hazard Analysis (SJHAs) - http://ehswprod.lbl.gov/sjha/start.aspx
A SJHA is required for all “hands-on” work performed by subcontractors/vendors.  From this link, you can:

X-Ray Use Authorizations (XAs) - http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/pub3000/CH21.html#_Toc285639928
All persons using an X-Ray must be on an authorization.  There is no database for X-Ray Authorizations.  To create a new X-Ray authorization, contact the Radiation Protection Group.  To add or delete personnel, contact the X-Ray System Supervisor. 


Work Permits

Electrical Work Permit - http://electricalsafety.lbl.gov/permits/EEWPPermit_Form.html
In very few cases, we may need an energized electrical work permit.  Contact Scott Taylor for any work that might involve worker exposure to live, energized sources above 50 volts.

Hot Work Permit - http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/pub3000/CH12-AppA.html#sec47
Hot work permits are required for hot work like welding (not for hand held soldering or Bunsen burner use).  To obtain a hot work permit call 510-486-6015.

Lockout Tagout Permit (LOTO) - http://electricalsafety.lbl.gov/permits/LOTOPermit_Form.html
In very few cases, we may need a LOTO permit.  This is only required when a person is servicing a piece of equipment where the inadvertent start up of the equipment may cause injury to persons working on the equipment.  Contact Scott Taylor  if a LOTO permit is needed.

(Posted 5/25/11)


Ergonomics of Microscope Use

Many researchers in the Life Sciences Division have a regular need to inspect tissues and cells, and other biological materials under a microscope as part of their work.  Unfortunately, microscope work often involves awkward and sustained postures as a person leans forward and bends their head down to peer into the microscope eyepieces. Studies have demonstrated that over 80% of workers using microscopes more than four hours a day report discomfort ranging from eye strain to neck and low back pain.  We are not immune; Life Sciences Division researchers have suffered ergonomic injuries in the past due to microscope use. 

There are actions you can take to reduce your risk of injury.  These include:

For a few more recommendations as well as some “before” and “after” images click here.  Also, ergonomic evaluations are available to all employees.  Simply send an e-mail to ergo@lbl.gov.  (Posted 3/21/11)


Student Safety Handbook and Orientation Checklist

All persons new to Berkeley Lab are required to complete Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) training. This training however does not directly address many of the safety issues unique to a particular lab, such as where to evacuate in an emergency or what chemical hazards are present. To bridge the gap between EH&S training and lab-specific safety issues, the Life Sciences Division has developed a new student safety handbook and a safety orientation checklist.

The student safety handbook was designed with students in mind and emphasizes some fundamental lab safety issues. It is a useful resource for any new Life Sciences Division employee to help identify hazards inside the labs.

The safety orientation checklist is designed for supervisors, work leads or area safety leads to review with new employees when they first enter the lab. The checklist focuses on basic life safety issues (such as eye wash locations, spill kit locations, etc.) and on hazards present in a particular lab. (Posted 9/28/09)


Working in or Traveling to and From the B74 Area

The seismic and structural safety upgrade of Building 74 (B74) is still underway. An excellent presentation given to the Life Sciences Division by Jack Heffernan of the Berkeley Lab Facilities Dept to inform us about potential impacts from extensive construction activities in and around B74 can be found here. The presentation includes background information about seismic risk assessment at Berkeley Lab and the specific seismic problems and fixes planned for B74. More information can be found on the construction project website. Please inform yourself and exercise caution when traveling in the Strawberry Canyon area, as the construction work continues. (Posted 1/5/09; Rev. 9/18/09)


Parking in the B83/84 Area

The seismic structural upgrade of Building 74 (B74) is almost completed and the first phase of the functional renovation is scheduled to start in a couple of weeks. This first phase is the demolition of most of the building's interior, including all mechanical and electrical systems in the building. In order to safely execute this work, the Facilities Department and the contractor, Nibbi Construction, have expanded the perimeter fence on most sides of the building, which has a significant effect on the parking situation. The parking spots in the U1 lot (downhill from B74) and U3 lot (between B74 and B84 as well as to the east of B74) are no longer available to the research community and these areas will only be accessible by construction personnel, deliveries to B84, maintenance vehicles, and fire access. An access gate has been established just past the bus stop in front of B74 and the stairway from the B74/84 courtyard to the U3 lot will be for emergency access only. The cylinder cage room 84-089 will remain accessible from the B84 freight elevator lobby.

B74 Area

 

By opening up all 40 parking spaces in the U5 (directly up from the Strawberry Gate) for lab researchers as well as most of the 42 spaces along the road to the water reservoir above B85, the Facilities folks plan to alleviate the resulting loss of 47 parking spaces in the U1 and U3 lots. To compensate for the 5 blue triangle spaces in the U3 lot, 5 parking spaces along Calvin Road in between B83 and B84 have been designated for blue triangle parking. In order to improve accessibility between the U5 lot and both B83 and B84, the stairway and footpath have been replaced and repaired to be an attractive walkway. A formal crosswalk over Calvin Road now connects B83 and B84.

This new arrangement went into effect on September 30, 2009 and will remain in effect for the 3-4 months of the demolition phase. If the subsequent construction phase remains on schedule it will start immediately following the demolition and it will require the same safety perimeter for the 18 months of construction through fall 2011. Please contact Damir Sudar with your concerns about these changes. (Posted 9/22/09; Rev. 10/1/09; Rev. 3/21/11)


SPOT Awards

Employee participation is a vital component in any successful safety program. To encourage participation, each quarter the Life Sciences Division recognizes one or two employees with a $250 SPOT Award for Safety. These awards are given to employees who are proactively engaged in safety, who are routinely demonstrating their commitment to working safely, or who submit their safety concerns and ideas for improvements to the Division. In addition, there is an annual $1,000 SPOT award for the lab demonstrating the strongest commitment to safety. Nominations can be submitted to Andrew Peterson or Scott Taylor.

Past winners include:

(Posted 9/18/09)


Work by Outside Service Vendors

On-site set-up, maintenance or repair work on Life Sciences Division equipment by outside service techs requires the preparation of a special Job Hazard Analysis prior to the start of the work.  The Subcontractor Job Hazard Analysis (sJHA) form must be sent to the contractor by the requestor, to be filled out and returned prior to their scheduled visit. The sJHA is then sent to the Divisional Safety Coordinator (DSC) for approval.  A visit between the requestor, service tech and DSC takes place on the day of the visit before work is authorized.

Life Sciences Division staff should contact the DSC as soon as a service call is needed to insure that this process is promptly and correctly carried out. This is especially important for work that exposes the repair worker to energized circuits, radiation, or lasers.  Safety requirements in this work can require additional documentation.

Further information, and a copy of the sJHA form, can be obtained on-line at http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/ssa/nssa/index.shtml.
(Posted 12/19/08)


Shipment of Packages Containing Dry Ice

If you need to ship a package containing dry ice, the package must be shipped by the Shipping Department in Building 69 to ensure proper shipment preparation.  Do NOT go directly through FedEx.

Place items to be shipped in a container with the dry ice.  Shipping will complete the final preparation of the package.  You may transport your package of research material with dry ice to Building 69 or leave it at a designated Berkeley Lab pickup location, as long as the research material you are shipping (exclusive of the dry ice) is non-hazardous material. (Posted 12/19/08)


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is required in all chemical and biological laboratories. To enter the lab, one must be wearing (at a minimum) safety glasses and closed-toed shoes. Performing work requires the use of a lab coat and appropriate gloves.  Areas requiring PPE are designated with “Safety Glasses and PPE Required” green tape on the floor. Check the Entrance Placards at lab doors to determine specific hazards and appropriate PPE for each laboratory. (Posted 12/19/08)


Safety Glasses

Safety glasses with side shields are a requirement inside the laboratory. Prescription safety glasses are available through Health Services (x 6266), but non-prescription safety glasses need to be provided by your particular laboratory. It is important to remember that when it comes to safety glasses, one size does not fit all. It seems like most standard safety glasses are “big”, but it is possible to find safety glasses designed for smaller faces. Some of these include:

Safety Glasses
(Posted 9/18/09)