September 3, 2004  


The Role of SLAC Citizen Committees in ES&H

By Mike Grissom

For many years now the SLAC citizen committees have been an integral part of environment, safety, and health (ES&H) at SLAC. As director emeritus Burton Richter said:

Frank O’Neill, Chair of the Fire Protection Safety Committee (Photo by Diana Rogers)

From the earliest days of the Laboratory, the citizen committees have been an essential part of the SLAC safety program and have contributed enormously to making SLAC a safe place to work. The success of these committees arises from the fact that their membership includes people from different areas of the Laboratory with various technical backgrounds, bringing a broad range of perspectives and expertise to addressing problems. I regard such committee service as a very important part of the work of members of the SLAC staff.

These thoughts continue to resonate with Director Jonathan Dorfan, who appoints citizen committee members. (The terms are generally three years for members and five for chairpersons.)

Although citizen committees often deal with routine issues, one of their major responsibilities is to ensure new projects are completed safely and in compliance with established requirements and standards. An outstanding example of this process was the commissioning and delivery of the first beam at SPEAR3 in December 2003. During the more than six-month down for SPEAR in 2003, and for some years prior to the SPEAR2 ring decommissioning and SPEAR3 commissioning, an extensive series of citizen committee reviews took place, helping to ensure the safe and timely completion of the project.

This process of reviewing each of the major accelerator systems, a key component of SLAC’s Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS), will be further exercised over the next few years as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) moves through planning and construction towards commissioning in 2009.

What the Committees Do

As described in the SLAC ES&H Manual, Chapter 31, the citizen committees are expected to:

• Assist personnel in evaluating hazards

• Inspect operations and projects

• Interpret industry standards

• Recommend appropriate procedures and policies

• Review accelerator facility procedures and safety training programs

• Verify that design processes comply with safety regulations

For new projects the process is coordinated through the Safety Overview Committee (SOC), chaired by Ken Moffeit (EA). The SOC is composed of the chairpersons of all the citizen committees, the OSC chair and an ES&H member. For details on the charters of citizen committees, see:

Perry Anthony, Chairperson of the Electrical Safety Committee (Photo by Diana Rogers)

Interacting with Committees

The designated project manager or experiment spokesperson normally starts the process of citizen committee review by contacting the chair of the SOC. The project manager or principal investigator for smaller projects can contact specific citizen committees directly, but more often this is done by the relevant ES&H coordinator, such as Ian Evans at SSRL. John Galayda, recently appointed associate director for the new LCLS Division, had already participated in the review process with presentations to the SOC and specific interactions with relevant citizen committees during the design phase of LCLS.

Citizen Committees and Chairs

• Safety Overview Committee (SOC), Ken Moffeit, Ext. 2772

• As Low As Reasonably Achievable Committee (ALARA), Dieter Walz, Ext. 2786

• Earthquake Safety Committee (EqSC), Scott DeBarger, Ext. 4647

• Electrical Safety Committee (ESC), Perry Anthony, Ext. 4354

• Environmental Safety Committee (EnvSC), Bill Kroutil, Ext. 4785

• Fire Protection Safety Committee (FPSC), Frank O’Neill, Ext. 5300

• Hazardous Experimental Equipment Committee (HEEC), John Weisend, Ext. 5448

• Hoisting and Rigging Safety Committee (H&RSC), Dave Ernst, Ext. 8346

• Non-ionizing Radiation Safety Committee (NIRSC), Ron Koontz, Ext. 2528

• Radiation Safety Committee (RSC), Harvey Lynch, Ext. 3691

There are other ES&H-related committees that are not chartered as citizen committees but are nevertheless important parts of the SLAC ISMS program. These include the ES&H Coordinating Council (ES&HCC), the Operating Safety Committee (OSC) and the Local Safety Committee (LSC).

For further information on ES&H-related committees, see:




The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Friday September 03, 2004 by Emily Ball