Operations Excellence Council update: May 8, 2018
Argonne’s Operations Excellence Council (OEC) provides a senior management forum focused on delivering leading-edge science, and developing 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 April meetings include:
April 5, 2018: Jeff Purnell, chief financial officer, provided an overview of the recent reorganization efforts to capitalize on Workday system implementation and division overhead consolidation, to more effectively respond to U.S. Department of Energy requirements, align employee strengths and increase support value to the laboratory. Purnell also described the newly implemented department charters:
- Business Systems and Transformation: Implement, upgrade, maintain and strategically optimize the laboratory’s financial systems.
- Accounting Operations: Accurate, systematic and comprehensive recording of financial transactions. Includes general ledger, cost accounting, asset management, accounts payable, period-end close and financial reporting.
- Accounting Services: Primary accounting contact for the laboratory scientific and mission support communities, as well as external strategic partners and service providers. This includes SPP accounting and accrual management.
- Compliance: Ensure adherence to legal standards, internal policies, and federal regulations, evaluate the efficiency of controls and provide liaison for all audit and compliance issues.
Renee Salazar-Romero and Tracey Ziev (SPR), discussed the plans to transition to a continuous improvement model for issues management that drives improvement and innovation to elevate the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of research and operations. The goals are intended to effectively identify and correct issues before they lead to significant events, ensure timely corrective actions prevent recurrence of major problems, provide insight of organizations’ performance to reduce level of assessments and gain transparency into improvement activities across the laboratory.
April 19, 2018: Suellen Cook (HSE) shared progress to date in the recently formed Incident Investigations Department, including hiring a full-time incident investigation manager and full-time lead investigator, developing preliminary incident quad charts for more timely communications on events, performing a gap analysis to ensure existing procedures accurately reflect the intended investigative process and demonstrating overall improved timeliness. Collaborating with SPR and Assessments, Quality and Oversight, she will ensure consistency of processes moving forward, track metrics to ensure timely response, simplify/streamline notification, incorporate Human Performance Improvement practices into the investigative process and tailor casual analysis rigor to event.
The HSE Training Department now offers hands-on radiological, chemical and electrical training laboratories in Building 202. The OEC visited the three simulation labs that provide realistic conditions for practicing skills and approximate real work conditions and risks. The electrical hands-on training laboratory is also serving as the site for Qualified Electrical Worker certification assessments.
April 26, 2018: Nancy VanWermeskerken (HSE) provided an overview of the ESH LMS Core Process Improvements initiative that governs how environmental, safety and health requirements and practices are administered to support the laboratory’s mission. She recognized the three levels of updates:
- Editorial Change
- Correction of grammar, typing errors, spelling, broken links
- Change of organization names
- Minor rewording for clarification purposes only
- Minor Revision
- Content is being revised/added to clarify or more accurately reflect current work practices
- Clarification of non-mandatory guidance
- Clarification of roles and/or responsibilities
- No change to process (addition or removal), requirements, training, Work Planning and Control (WPC) control sets
- Major Revision
- Significant change to process, requirements, training, WPC control sets
- The change affects one or more whole organizations
- The change is in answer to corrective actions that carry a moderate or high risk if not implemented
- The change requires the lab to invest finances and effort to implement
- Change in roles and/or responsibilities
VanWermeskerken is currently reviewing the change level determinations and their required actions while considering the addition of other processes (e.g. WPC sets and training), and adding a facilitator role to support the process requirements.
Darius Lisowski (NE) reported the findings, root causes and corrective actions associated with a focused review of work planning and control processes associated with the Building 206 cold sawing fire. He shared that the NE implementing process, as defined in their local WPC implementing procedure, was adequate, however there were several gaps in its execution. Corrective actions are intended to better ensure understanding and line ownership of WPC. Lisowski specifically recognized the need to ensure worker-level understanding of the difference between approval and authorization of a work activity.
Bob Einspar, Safety Performance Trending and Analysis Committee Chair, provided statistics pertaining to safety performance. It was reported there are currently 18 OSHA recordable injuries with the four most recent being from an ankle fracture from slipping on black ice, muscle strain from lifting a heavy box, breathing treatment due to asthma and a shoulder muscle strain from overexerting. Einspar reported that the lab reached 100 percent compliance of the machine tool inventory inspections, for the first time since tracking of the program was implemented a year ago.
Tracy Rogness (HSE) provided a monthly update of the 12 firstname.lastname@example.org reported items for the month of March. The list included the need for the Building 362 dock to be repaired, electrical safety manual questions, a broken outlet cover in the Building 446 Auditorium, housekeeping in front of an electrical box and a large dumpster obstructing driver’s view at a pedestrian crosswalk. Members working on the project pertaining to cylinder and Dewar storage areas recently visited Building 362, and some associated recommendations of the team were addressed by the Safety Fund.