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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

308.66 – Specialized Safety Program Committees

2/24/14

OPR: Office of Administration and Enterprise Information

Instructions: This chapter is revised to include organizational changes due to the Bureau’s realignment.  It removes the Radiation Safety Advisory Board and adds the Large Vessel Safety Committee.

1.  Establishment.  his chapter authorizes the establishment of the Specialized Safety Program Committees (aviation, dive, firearms, large vessels, and watercraft) in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS or Bureau) and serves as their charters. Large vessels are defined watercraft that are greater than or equal to 26 feet "length overall."

2.  Purpose.  Specialized Safety Program Committees are established in accordance with Federal, Department of the Interior (Department, or DOI), or USGS authorities, as referenced below. The committees are approved by the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official.

3.  Scope.  The Specialized Safety Program Committees operate, coordinate, and collaborate with the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Council to develop, enhance, and implement safety and health programs and initiatives at all organizational levels. Specialized Safety Program Committees determine collective actions to achieve program objectives aligned with Federal, DOI, and Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Strategic Plans. Each Specialized Program Committee is guided by a Bureau Specialized Safety Program Manager, with oversight and support provided by the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager and the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official. Actions and program initiatives of the Specialized Safety Program Committees are forwarded to the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Council for concurrence with final approval by the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official, as appropriate. The Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official is the Director’s designee for safety and health program matters throughout the Bureau.

4.  Authorities and References.  Authorities for Specialized Safety Program Committees include:

A. Department Manual, 485 DM Chapter 9, “Department Safety and Occupational Health Councils, Committees, and Working Groups," recommends that each bureau use committees at its headquarters and appropriate field locations to enhance safety and health in the workplace.

B. Department Manual Parts 350 through 353 establish management responsibilities, policies, and procedures for the use and operation of aircraft within the DOI and the USGS. The provisions set forth in the individual chapters of each part are applicable to bureau organizations that use or operate aircraft.

C. 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910, Subpart T “Commercial Diving Operations” and Appendix B "Guidelines for Scientific Diving," and the USGS Dive Safety Manual.

D.  485 DM 27, Underwater Diving Safety.

E.  SM 440-2-H Physical Security Handbook; SM 408-2-H Property Management Handbook; and State firearm laws and regulations.

F.  27 CFR Subchapter B Firearms and Ammunition.

G.  46 CFR Part 28, Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels.

H.  Department Manual, 485 DM Chapter 22, Watercraft Safety.

I.  Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended.

5.  Specialized Safety Committees.

A.  Specialized Safety Program Committees and their respective Specialized Safety Program Managers advise and recommend to the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official and Occupational Safety and Health Council accident prevention and program enhancement measures related to their respective specialized safety program areas.  The Specialized Safety Program Managers have ad hoc membership on the Occupational Safety and Health Council.  The Bureau Office of Management Services’ Occupational Safety and Health Management Branch designee serves as the voting member on the Occupational Safety and Health Committee, representing the interests of each Specialized Safety Program.  The USGS has the following Bureau-level Specialized Safety Program Committees, each chaired by a Specialized Safety Program Manager:

(1)  Bureau Aviation Advisory Committee.

(2)  Bureau Dive Safety Board.

(3)  Bureau Firearms Safety Committee.

(4)  Bureau Large Vessel Safety Committee.

(5)  Bureau Watercraft Safety Committee.

6.  Membership.

A.  Committee membership shall be representative of national capabilities and regional science centers that have specialized program operations.

B.  Designated representatives shall have the authority to speak for their respective organizations during meetings in which commitments are required. Committee or board members shall have appropriate authority to provide management oversight for specialized program activities within their scope of responsibility and commensurate with mission needs, funding capacity, and operational capability.

C.  The Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Manager shall provide administrative support to each committee or board and shall coordinate with the Chair, as appropriate.

D.  The Bureau Specialized Safety Program Manager serves as the Chair of his or her committee or board. 

E.  Committees or boards may include ad hoc members to address specific subjects, as needed.

F.  Aviation Advisory Committee.  

(1)  The Aviation Advisory Committee shall consist of the following members:

(a)  Bureau Aviation Manager.

(b)  Regional Aviation Managers, appointed by the Regional Directors they serve.

(c)  Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee.

(d)  Collateral duty representatives of national capabilities and regional science centers that have aviation activities with concurrence of their respective Science Center Directors.

(2)  The Regional Aviation Managers shall have aviation knowledge and/or expertise and shall serve as collateral duty personnel in assisting region and field management in the coordination and implementation of the Office of Aviation Services and the USGS aviation safety program elements.  

G.  Dive Safety Board.  

(1)  Dive Safety Board membership shall consist of the following members:

(a)  Bureau Dive Safety Officer.

(b)  Regional Dive Safety Officers, appointed by the Regional Directors they serve.

(c)  Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee.

(d)  Field Dive Safety Officers, representing local diving facilities and technical diving representatives with concurrence of their respective Science Center Directors.

(2)  At least two-thirds of the Board’s members shall be active, certified scientific divers.  

H.  Firearms Safety Committee.  

(1)  The Firearms Safety Committee shall consist of the following members:

(a)  Bureau Firearms Manager.

(b)  Regional Firearms Managers, appointed by the Regional Directors they serve. 

(c)  Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee.

(d)  Collateral duty representatives of national capabilities and regional science centers that have firearms activities with concurrence of their respective Science Center Directors.

(e)  The Regional Director for the Alaska Region shall nominate three committee members from the Alaska Region.

(2)  At least two-thirds of the members shall be trained and certified in firearms use.  

I.  Large Vessel Safety Committee. 

(1)  The Large Vessel Safety Committee shall consist of the following members: 

(a)  Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Manager.

(b)  Regional Large Vessel Safety Program Managers, appointed by the Regional Directors they serve. 

(c)  Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager, or designee.

(d)  Large Vessel Safety Program Designated Persons from cost centers that have vessels larger than or equal to 26 feet with concurrence of their respective Science Center Directors.

(2)  At least two-thirds of the members shall be trained in large vessel operations. 

J.  Watercraft Safety Committee.  

(1)  The Watercraft Safety Committee shall consist of the following members: 

(a)  Bureau Watercraft Safety Program Manager.  The Bureau Watercraft Safety Program Manager must have a current Motorboat Operator Instructor Certification Course certificate. 

(b)  Regional Watercraft Safety Program Managers.

(c)  Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager, or designee.
 
(d)  Regional Directors are required to nominate a minimum of one committee member (technical or management) to represent their respective region.  Additional representation may be nominated at the discretion of the Regional Director, dependent upon size and scope of watercraft activities within a given area.

(2)  All technical representatives shall have a current Motorboat Operator Instructor Certification Course certificate.    

7.  Specialized Safety Program Committees’ Responsibilities.

A. Provide a forum to share ideas and resources between specialized programs, the Bureau scientific community, and management.

B. Review and evaluate applicable regulations and DOI policies for their effect on Bureau specialized program operations and implement compliance programs.

C. Develop and/or review proposed policies, procedures, and business management practices for specialized safety programs and arrange for Bureau participation to achieve necessary changes.

D. Review incidents and accidents and follow up with appropriate supervision to institute corrective actions when appropriate.

E. Develop, or oversee the development of, information systems to assist in specialized safety program management (for example, Web sites, databases, and training).

F. Distribute materials and information related to specialized safety program activities.

G. Promote the involvement of management by identifying specialized program-related safety issues and by providing management with recommendations for corrective action(s).

H. Recommend or require safety equipment, training, and procedures for tasks involving specialized safety program activities.

I. Monitor user training to ensure compliance with Federal, DOI, and Bureau requirements and to ensure consistency, correctness, coverage, and overall quality of the training.

J. Annually, review program accomplishments and develop annual program goals and plans to ensure that activities comply with and meet DOI and USGS objectives and requirements.

K. Review interagency coordination requirements for USGS specialized safety program activities and implement management and operational principles, concepts, and arrangements commensurate with USGS involvement in specific interagency functions.

L. Establish subcommittees or ad hoc work groups, as needed.

M. Aviation Advisory Committee also:

(1) Assesses risk and provides guidance for the implementation of policy and operational procedures to achieve and maintain an excellent level of safety in aviation activities according to 41 CFR 101.37, 352 DM 1, and the Office of Aviation Services Operational Procedures Memorandums.

(2) Reviews costs for aviation management and operations and provides guidance to assure retention of priority functions within the Bureau.

(3) Administers a Bureau aviation award program.   

N.  Dive Safety Board also:

(1)  Develops and updates the Bureau Dive Safety Manual.

(2)  Participates in developing DOI and Bureau dive safety plans.

(3)  Oversees approval of dive plans.

O.  Firearms Safety Committee also:

(1)  Nominates qualified and safety-conscious individuals for training as firearms instructors.

(2)  Develops and employs basic minimum firearms safety standards and guidelines to ensure consistent safety practices throughout the Bureau.

(3)  Develops or endorses training curricula specific to expected Bureau firearms use.

P.  Large Vessel Safety Committee also:

(1) Establishes and maintain a Safety Management System document control and management system in accordance with changes in Federal Register and consensus standards.

(2) Assists science centers that operate large vessels with effective and efficient implementation strategies for the sustained operation of science center- and large vessel- specific Safety Management Systems. Instruct management and field personnel on Streamlined Inspection Process document control and training

(3) Provides training to Large Vessel Safety Program Designated Persons in large vessel management and control.

(4) Supports science centers’ large vessel operations by providing necessary programmatic assistance with regard to organizational support, resource recommendations, operational guidelines, and Safety Management System document control management.

(5) Recommends corrective actions based on assessment findings pursuant to the Streamlined Inspection Program

(6) Supports, monitors, and audits the phased roll-out and long-term implementation of the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Management System which contains a total of 62 benchmark consensus standards based on standards of 46 CFR Part 28, Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels.

(7)  Identifies and keeps current a comprehensive inventory of large vessels for bureauwide implementation of the Large Vessel Safety Management System.

(8)  Populates Large Vessel Safety Management System Vessel Operating Procedures, Emergency Preparedness, and Inspection Criteria and reference consensus standards.

(9)  Assists with streamlined inspection process, safety audits, document management and control.

Q.  Watercraft Safety Committee also:

(1)  Assists in the selection of qualified operators to be trained as watercraft instructors.

(2) Develops or endorses training curricula for non-operators that specifically address potentially hazardous watercraft operations, e.g., airboats, hovercraft, fast water, taglines, locking/dams, electrofishing, navigational electronics, night operations, taking measurements from boats, and watercraft safety.

(3) Develops or endorses job hazard analyses that address Bureau watercraft safety issues.

8.  Reporting.  

A. Bureau Specialized Safety Program Committees shall develop reports necessary to conduct business and evaluate the overall performance and achievement of Committee decisions.

B. Agendas and minutes shall be published and distributed to all Committee or Board members and the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Council. The Chair shall ensure that minutes are retained for a minimum of 2 years from the date of the meeting.

C. Bureau Specialized Safety Program Committees shall establish program goals, develop annual program plans, and annually report on the status of previous fiscal year program accomplishments and upcoming fiscal year program plans to the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official through the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Council.


9.  Meetings.  

A. The Specialized Safety Program Committees shall establish meeting dates in accordance with a published schedule prepared by the Chair, with at least one face-to-face meeting per year dependent upon budget availability and fiscal resource policies.

(1)  The Aviation Advisory Committee shall meet no less than twice per year.

(2)  The Dive Safety Board meeting shall be held quarterly.

(3)  The Firearms Safety Committee meeting shall be held quarterly.

(4)  The Large Vessel Safety Committee meeting shall be held quarterly.

(5)  The Watercraft Safety Committee meeting shall be held quarterly.

10. Subcommittees and Work Groups. Subcommittees or ad hoc work groups may be formed, as needed, to address specific tasks and/or provide reports to the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Council.

11. Voting. The act of the majority of members shall be the act of the Bureau Specialized Safety Program Committee.

12. Salary, Travel, and Incidental Costs. Bureau Specialized Safety Program Managers’ and Regional Safety Program Managers’ costs are borne by the Bureau Safety and Health Management Branch in the Office of Management Services, Administration and Enterprise Information. All other committee members' costs are borne by each participant's represented organization. Extraordinary expenses shall be pre-approved by the appropriate authorized individual and be covered by a written agreement.

13. Termination Date.  None.

 

/s/ Karen D. Baker                                                                                          February 24, 2014
____________________________________                                                _____________
Karen D. Baker                                                                                                   Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and Enterprise Information


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