The evolution of FESHM: Change is good

T.J. Sarlina

T.J. Sarlina, quality assurance manager, wrote this column.

At Fermilab, you can be certain that if you work here long enough, you’ll eventually be included in a reorganization effort. Well, organizations aren’t the only things that get restructured. Sometimes, manuals undergo the same treatment.

Recently, the Fermilab Environment, Safety and Health Manual (FESHM) chapters were renumbered to more accurately group chapters according to subject matter. The original series names had been in existence for a number of decades, with the 5000 series named Occupational Safety. This series became the repository for a wide variety of topics dealing with fall protection, industrial hygiene, electrical safety, pressure and vacuum vessels, occupational medicine, sustainable acquisition, material handling and aviation safety. It contained more than 50 chapters, while other series had only one or two. The numbering system was not particularly well organized, making it difficult to find the appropriate guidance on a specific topic.

We conducted a quality assurance self-assessment audit and concluded that certain subjects needed higher visibility. Now the 4000 series includes all industrial hygiene chapters, 5000 holds the pressure and vacuum vessel and piping chapters, 7000 is for construction safety and fall protection, 9000 is dedicated to electrical safety, 10000 addresses material handling and transportation, 11000 takes you to the Fermilab Radiological Control Manual, and 12000 brings you to the Quality Assurance Manual.

Moved chapters have been renumbered, but links remain the same. So if you click on the link to the old chapter 5120, Fermilab Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout), you will be taken to the newly numbered Lockout/Tagout chapter, which is now chapter 2100. All links have been updated throughout the entire manual, so clicking on the link will take you to the correct chapter.

Check out the new FESHM directly or from the ESH&Q home page. It’s always recommended that you refer to the electronic version of FESHM to ensure that you are referencing the latest version. Bookmark the location for easier reference. The reorganized manual makes it easier to find the guidance you’re looking for and contributes to a safer operating environment for all of us.