Jefferson Lab Awarded Vice President's Hammer Award

The Directives Review Team at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) has been awarded the Vice President's Hammer Award for its work on the simplification of the Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) requirements given by the U.S. Department of Energy for Jefferson Lab.

The Hammer Award is a special recognition given by Vice President Al Gore to teams who have made contributions in support of President Clinton's National Performance Review (NPR) principles. Those principles are: putting customers first, cutting red tape, getting back to basics, and empowering employees.

The Hammer Award consists of a $6 hammer with red ribbon, symbolizing the Vice President's answer to the $600 hammer of yesterday's government, and certificates signed by Vice President Gore.Prior to the new regulations set by the Directives Review Team, Jefferson Lab was required to follow the more than 1,500 requirements found in 31 EH&S related DOE orders. The goal of the Directives Review Team was to clearly define the requirements and expectations of the EH&S program, and tailor them to the specific mission and site characteristics of Jefferson Lab. The review team reached this goal in only six months.

The Vice President expressed his appreciation to the team for "building a government that works better and costs less."

In order to accomplish their task, team members created a database to examine each EH&S requirement in the context of its use at Jefferson Lab. After the examination of a requirement the team recommended its inclusion or exclusion in the new set of EH&S requirements. At the conclusion of the team's examination, it was determined that only nine percent of the existing requirements needed to be part of the contract. The remaining requirements were either already covered in other laws or regulations or simply did not apply to needs and circumstances present at Jefferson Lab. The result of the team's efforts was a smaller, tailored and unambiguous set of EH&S requirements that fit within the parameters of all Work Smart Standards.

Although attempts had been made by others to simplify the EH&S requirements, this was the first time the effort was successfully completed. Jim Boyce, Process Leader of the review team, believes the Directives Review Team triumphed because the team studied each requirement, not only on its individual usefulness, but also on the overall benefit it would bring to the Lab. Boyce also said the process used by the Review Team could be applied at any large, cross divisional organization that has a need to streamline the bureaucratic process that makes up their set of directives or regulations. - The Virginia Peninsula Total Quality Institute requested that Boyce lecture on the process used by the Directives Review Team, and the Department of Energy has shown interest in using the process to revise their own accelerator safety orders.

The Directives Review Team was a joint effort by the DOE site office and Jefferson Lab. It was composed of scientists, engineers, technicians, administrators, and EH&S professionals. The team members were: DOE Site Office employees Jerry Conley, James Bennett, Dean Helms and Barbara Morgan; and Jefferson Lab employees James Boyce, John Domingo, Carter Ficklen, Eric Hanson, Joe Goodson, Robert May, Sandra Prior, Claus Rode, Rhonda Scales, Steven Suhring, and Ronald Sundelin. Jefferson Lab is managed by the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), a consortium of 41 universities, for the U.S. Department of Energy.