Leveraging safety and quality programs at Fermilab

The existing ES&H program is merging with the lab’s Quality Assurance program to leverage the capabilities of both.

As you may already know, the Office of Quality and Best Practice has transitioned to become the QA, Training & Communications group within the Environment, Safety, Health & Quality Section. Under the direction of a new quality assurance manager, Fermilab is taking steps to integrate QA functions and services with our existing ES&H program. This will serve to leverage the capabilities of both programs to meet common goals and outcomes for the laboratory.

TJ Sarlina will lead the Quality Assurance program for Fermilab’s ESH&Q Section. With a broad range of ES&H, quality assurance and project management experience, he is committed to developing a program that will map requirements, identify deficiencies and inform responsible line management about opportunities for improvement.

“Great tools have resulted from our previous QA efforts,” Sarlina said. “We plan to continue using those tools while integrating quality with ES&H instead of having two parallel programs.”

ESH&Q Acting Head Martha Michels, in coordination with other leaders in the section, has outlined a number of short-term goals for integrating the two programs. They include developing a quality assurance series for the Fermilab ESH&Q Manual, creating a formal QA subcommittee that reports to the Fermilab ES&H Committee, better defining the roles of quality assurance representatives and providing focused QA support for projects. Goals over the next six to 12 months include developing self-assessment schedules by functional areas, updating the Quality Assurance Web page to match the other ES&H pages and properly aligning DOE Order 414.1D, the Contractor Assurance System description, Integrated Quality Assurance document, Director’s Policy documents, and D/S/C Quality Assurance documents.

Quality Assurance applies to all work conducted at Fermilab, and we have worked diligently to establish an overarching institutional approach to QA at the laboratory. This approach applies program controls using a graded approach based on an analysis of identified risks where work is to be performed. It also outlines requirements necessary to consistently meet the contract obligations throughout each laboratory division, section or center. Finally, it ensures that quality, safety, health, security, cybersecurity, environmental, facilities and infrastructure maintenance concerns, along with scientific research, are integrated into all work performed under the contract.

Through the continued reorganization of ES&H and Quality Assurance, we plan to provide a comprehensive approach to the lab’s safe and efficient day-to-day operations.

J.B. Dawson