Operations Excellence update: December 18, 2017
Argonne’s Operations Excellence Council provides a senior management forum to help deliver leading-edge science, and develop a strong commitment to, and culture around, research and operational excellence throughout the laboratory. The council supports timely, transparent and effective decision-making on operational programs. It communicates customer feedback, needs and priorities and reviews lab performance targets and metrics.
Highlights from the council’s meeting include:
John Connolly, APS Engineering Support (AES) director, provided a safety share pertaining to the efforts in his division to improve its overall safety posture. The program implementation included five points:
- Improve the identification of leading indicators: Require monthly SMART card observations by AES supervisors.
- Increase formality of job preparation: Pre-job briefs to be standardized using a template.
- Provide additional tools to employees: Roll out Human Performance to AES employees.
- Promote safety vigilance: Safety briefs to become standard for meetings.
- Continue to reinforce: Recognize legitimate application of good safety behavior and employee engagement.
Connolly encourages employees to speak up, raise safety concerns and stop/suspend work, if necessary, while using Integrated Safety Management principles, including hazards analysis. George Srajer, Photon Sciences associate laboratory director, mentioned the upcoming shutdown period this month and recognized the effort to appropriately prepare for the 13 days of maintenance activities.
Bob Einspar, Safety Performance Trending and Analysis Committee chair, provided statistics pertaining to training completion, observation conversation results and machine guarding tool inventory and inspection. There were two Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable injuries in November, including a left bicep tendon partial tear and a finger laceration. Devin Hodge, Computing, Environment, & Life Sciences chief operations officer, recognized the potential for incidents prior to the holiday shutdown.
In regard to Spot awards given by directorate, it was recognized that mission support divisions are more actively using the program, as compared to the programmatic organizations. Betsy Dunn, Health, Safety, & Environment director, acknowledged that the Spot Awards program was developed “by the people, for the people.” Any employee can nominate another Argonne employee for an award. Employees are encouraged to use of the program for employee recognition and engagement.
John Quintana, chief operations officer, acknowledged the current approach to managing risk using a labwide approach for managing enterprise level risk. At the directorate, division and department level it is presumed varying approaches are used for managing risk with some visibility through integrated assessment scheduling. The labwide approach for managing risk at the activity level includes work planning and control, varied engagement with subject matter experts and Environment, Safety and Health coordinators, and is accomplished electronically in some cases. Mike Dunn, interim deputy chief operations officer, provided an overview of the short and long-term efforts to close the gaps and implement operational efficiencies. Maria Curry-Nkansah, Physical Sciences & Engineering chief operations officer, suggested a base level of safety knowledge holistically while modeling the pockets of excellence. Balendra Sutharshan, Energy and Global Security chief operations officer, shared the implementation of a forum of Energy Systems and Nuclear Engineering employees to come together to define activities, thresholds and challenge each other for a collaborative understanding to accomplish the management of risk and safety.
Betsy Dunn reported onsite visits this week, including the Office of Enforcement to review the recent electrical safety incidents and an Office of Science team to review a recent fire incident in Building 350.