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ES&H Manual
Chapter 6540 Oxygen Deficiency Hazard (ODH) Control Program
At Jefferson Lab there is the potential for oxygen deficiency hazards (ODHs) due to cryogens, compressed/solidified gases, and/or clean-agent fire suppression systems. This ODH Control Program provides procedures for: determining when an ODH risk assessment is required; determining ODH classifications, appropriate engineering and administrative controls, training and medical exclusions to facilitate worker and equipment safety; and appropriate emergency response.

Jefferson Lab considers ODH to be a hazard issue. This document complies with applicable federal, state, and local requirements outlined in ES&H Manual Chapter 2410 Appendix T1 Hazard Issues List.

An ODH exists when the concentration of oxygen is less than or equal to 19.5% (by volume) at a typical barometric pressure of 760 mm Hg.

This program does not address ODH additional requirements for a confined space; refer to ES&H Manual Chapter 6160 Permit-Required Confined Space Entry Program for more information.

At Jefferson Lab there are five ODH levels (see ES&H Manual Chapter 6540 Appendix T2 ODH Classifications, Engineering and Administrative Control Practices, Training, and Medical Exclusions). The hazard increases as the number increases. Work areas are classified based on the statistical probability of one fatality due to an ODH in a specified number of worker-hours:

ODH Class # of worker-hours* during which a fatality is expected
0 Greater than 10 million
1 from 100,000 hours to 10 million
2 from 1,000 to 100,000
3 from 10 to 1,000
4 less than 10
*2000 worker-hours equals one year.

Table 1: Required ODH Safety Training by Job Classification

Training Course Qualified ODH Worker (Areas ODH0-1) Qualified ODH Worker (Areas ODH2-3) Qualified ODH Worker (Areas ODH4)
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus
5-minute Escape Pack Use
  X X
ODH-2 & Respirator Medical Certification
  X X
* Per ES&H Manual Chapter 6800 Appendix T1 Medical Monitoring
* As Appropriate. Contact the QA/CI Senior Technical Specialist for Certification Qualification requirements.


T1 Oxygen Deficiency Hazard (ODH) Safety Review
An ODH Safety Review is performed when gas is proposed, altered, discovered, or as requested in accordance with ES&H Manual Chapter 3210 Work Planning, Control, and Authorization Process. Relevant factors include, but are not limited to:
  • Volume of the area.
  • Potential volume of the gas.
  • Work to be performed in the area.
  • Engineering controls currently in place.
  • Required administrative controls.
  • Existing ODH sources or installations.
ES&H Manual Chapter 6540 Appendix T1 Oxygen Deficiency Hazard (ODH) Safety Review provides instructions on how to complete an ODH Safety Review Form so an accurate determination of risk can be made and appropriate mitigations can be implemented.
  ODH Safety Review Form: Click for Word Document

T2 ODH Classifications, Engineering and Administrative Control Practices, Training, and Medical Exclusions
Jefferson Lab's ODH control program includes engineering controls, administrative controls, and medical exclusions to facilitate worker and equipment safety. ES&H Manual Chapter 6540 Appendix T2 ODH Classifications, Engineering and Administrative Control Practices, Training, and Medical Exclusions outlines how to recognize ODH areas; and describes the control(s)/exclusion(s) required for entry and work within an area so designated.
T3 ODH Emergency Response Procedure
Jefferson Lab utilizes both installed and personal oxygen monitors. A detected oxygen concentration of 19.5% or less triggers an alarm.
  • Leave the area immediately and notify your supervisor if:
    • An oxygen deficiency warning light (blue) flashes, or
    • An oxygen deficiency alarm sounds (i.e.: from an installed or personal oxygen monitor.)
See ES&H Manual Chapter 6540 Appendix T3 ODH Emergency Response Procedure for additional information.

Management authority may be delegated at the discretion of the responsible manager.

Anyone at Jefferson Lab
Qualified ODH Worker
Supervisors/Subcontracting Officer's Technical Representative (SOTR)/Sponsor
ODH Safety Reviewer
  • Review and, if acceptable, approve ODH Safety Review document(s).
  • Submit request for a Facility Design Review or ODH Risk Assessment as appropriate.
  • Designate the appropriate ODH classification for an area.
  • Verify ODH equipment safeguards, inventory requirements, posting, and labeling, are in-place prior to introduction of the ODH.
Industrial Hygiene
  • Maintain and provide training for Personal Oxygen Monitors, Escape Packs, and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).
ODH Analysis Authority
  • Conduct ODH Risk Assessments when requested.
  • Qualifications include:
    • Demonstrated ability to analyze and mitigate oxygen deficiency hazards within laboratory user systems.
    • Maintain appropriate training SAF103 Oxygen Deficiency Hazard
    • Technical proficiencies and knowledge of:
      • ODH evaluations, calculations, design/implementation of control measures,
      • common compressed and liquefied gases, mixed gas properties,
      • ODH propagation calculations,
      • 29 CFR 1910.146 Permit Required Confined Spaces
      • Pressurized gas mechanical systems with their associated failure modes analysis.
    • One of the following:
      • Completion of an engineering or physics degree, requiring four or more years of full time study, plus a minimum of five years experience relating to the technical requirements listed above.
      • Professional Engineering registration, recognized by the local jurisdiction, plus experience in systems relating to ODH classification, mitigation, evaluation, and their properties.
      • Jefferson Lab's Engineering Manager approval with concurrence from the Senior Cryogenic Coordinator for Accelerator Operations.

Document Control:
    TECHNICAL POINT-OF-CONTACT:  Jennifer Williams
    APPROVAL DATE:   6/22/16
    EXPIRATION DATE:  06/22/17
    Revision 1.2 - 06/22/16 - Updated TPOC from D.Owen to J.Williams.
    Revision 1.1 - 05/20/14 - Added Required Safety Training Table.
    Revision 1.0 - 01/17/12: Updated to reflect current laboratory operations.

This document is controlled as an on-line file. It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document. It is the user's responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file. .