Management systems audit at Fermilab

Martha Michels

Martha Michels, acting head of the ESH&Q Section, wrote this column.

On June 3, four auditors from NSF-International Strategic Registrations will arrive at Fermilab to conduct a week of audits on all divisions and sections as part of the renewal process for ISO-14001 (environmental management systems) and OHSAS-18001 (safety management systems).

The audit process includes interviews with employees who are most knowledgeable in the area or areas being reviewed. The auditors compare what they learn from these interviews with laboratory written procedures, records and other documentation to verify that the lab’s environmental and safety guidelines reflect its actual practices. Many D/S/C heads, department heads and group leaders may have an opportunity to meet one or more of the auditors during the week.

Do you need to prepare in advance? The short answer is: no. We already have a robust management system in place that has been under scrutiny since 2007, when the laboratory first became registered to ISO 14001. In the years since, surveillance audits have been conducted twice a year. All you need to do is candidly answer the questions and provide the auditors copies of documents they ask for.

Once the schedule is finalized, it will be distributed to D/S/C heads, senior safety officers and environmental officers and posted to the Fermilab ISO/OHSAS Web page.

If you need further information or have questions, contact your SSO or environmental officer. He or she will be able to further explain the process (all ESH officers are veterans of the audit campaigns).