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.U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY DIRECTIVE
SURVEY MANUAL COMMITTEE CHARTER – ADMINISTRATIVE SERIES
Issuance Number: 308.66
Subject: Specialized Safety Program Committees
Issuance Date: 12/19/2021
Expiration Date: 12/31/2026
Responsible Office: Office of Administration/Office of Management Services/Occupational Safety and Health Management Branch
Instruction: This supersedes Survey Manual (SM) chapter 308.66, dated February 24, 2014. Significant revisions reflect current organization structure and updated references.
Approving Official: /s/ Katherine M. McCulloch
Associate Director for Administration
1. Establishment. This SM chapter authorizes 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.
2. Purpose. The USGS establishes Specialized Safety Program Committees in accordance with Federal, Department of the Interior (DOI or Department), or USGS authorities, as referenced in this charter. These committees are approved by the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO).
3. Scope. The Specialized Safety Program Committees operate, coordinate, and collaborate with the 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 USGS Occupational Safety and Health Strategic Plans.
4. Authority and References.
A. Departmental Manual (DM) 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.
B. 485 DM 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.
C. 485 DM 22, Watercraft Safety.
D. 485 DM 27, Underwater Diving Safety.
E. SM 440.2, Physical Security Program, and State firearm laws and regulations.
F. 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.
G. 27 CFR Subchapter B Firearms and Ammunition.
H. 46 CFR Part 28, Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels.
I. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended.
5. Committee Structure. Each Specialized Program Committee is guided by a Specialized Safety Program Manager with oversight and support provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager and the DASHO. These managers forward the actions and program initiatives of the Specialized Safety Program Committees to the Occupational Safety and Health Council for concurrence with final approval by the Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or the DASHO, as appropriate. The DASHO is the Director’s designee for safety and health program matters.
6. Specialized Committees. Specialized Safety Program Committees and their respective Specialized Safety Program Managers advise and recommend accident prevention and program enhancement measures related to their respective specialized safety program areas to the DASHO and Occupational Safety and Health Council. The Specialized Safety Program Managers have ad hoc membership on the Occupational Safety and Health Council. The Chief and Section Chiefs within the Office of Management Services’ Occupational Safety and Health Management Branch serve voting members on the Occupational Safety and Health Committee, representing the interests of each Specialized Safety Program. The USGS has the following Specialized Safety Program Committees, each chaired by a Specialized Safety Program Manager:
A. Aviation Advisory Committee.
B. Dive Safety Board.
C. Firearms Safety Committee.
D. Large Vessel Safety Committee.
E. Watercraft Safety Committee.
A. Committee membership is representative of mission area and regional science centers that have specialized program operations.
B. Designated representatives have the authority to speak for their respective organizations during meetings in which commitments are required. Committee or board members 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 Occupational Safety and Health Manager provides administrative support to each committee or board and coordinates with the Chair, as appropriate.
D. The Specialized Safety Program Manager serves as the Chair of the respective committee or board.
E. Committees or boards may include ad hoc members to address specific subjects, as needed.
F. Aviation Advisory Committee. The Aviation Advisory Committee consists of the following members: Aviation Manager, Regional Aviation Managers appointed by the Regional Directors they serve, Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee, and collateral duty representatives of mission area and regional science centers that have aviation activities with concurrence of their respective Science Center Directors. The Regional Aviation Managers must have aviation knowledge and expertise and 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. Dive Safety Board membership consists of the following members: Dive Safety Officer, Regional Dive Safety Officers appointed by the Regional Directors they serve, Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee, and Field Dive Safety Officers representing local diving facilities and technical diving representatives with concurrence of their respective Science Center Directors. At least two-thirds of the Board’s members must be active, certified scientific divers.
H. Firearms Safety Committee. The Firearms Safety Committee consists of the following members: Firearms Manager; Regional Firearms Managers appointed by the Regional Directors they serve; Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee; collateral duty representatives of mission area and regional science centers that have firearms activities with concurrence of their respective Office Chiefs or Science Center Directors; and three committee members from the Alaska, Region 11 nominated by the Regional Director. At least two-thirds of the members must be trained and certified in firearms use.
I. Large Vessel Safety Committee. The Large Vessel Safety Committee consists of the following members: Large Vessel Safety Program Manager, Regional Large Vessel Safety Program Managers appointed by the Regional Directors they serve, Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee, and Large Vessel Safety Program Designated Persons from cost centers having vessels larger than or equal to 26 feet. Designated persons require concurrence from their respective Science Center Directors. At least two-thirds of the members must be trained in large vessel operations. Large vessels are defined watercraft that are greater than or equal to 26 feet “length overall.”
J. Watercraft Safety Committee. The Watercraft Safety Committee consists of the following members: Watercraft Safety Program Manager who must have a current Motorboat Operator Instructor Certification Course certificate; Regional Watercraft Safety Program Managers; Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager or designee; and a minimum of one committee member (technical or management) to represent a respective region as nominated by the Regional Director, and any additional representation nominated at the discretion of the Regional Director as dependent upon size and scope of watercraft activities within a given area. All technical representatives must have a current Motorboat Operator Instructor Certification Course certificate.
A. Specialized Safety Program Committees must in general:
(1) Provide a forum to share ideas and resources between specialized programs, the scientific community, and management.
(2) Review and evaluate applicable regulations and DOI policies for their effect on specialized program operations and implement compliance programs.
(3) Develop and review proposed policies, procedures, and business management practices for specialized safety programs and arrange for participation to achieve necessary changes.
(4) Review incidents and accidents and follow up with appropriate supervision to institute corrective actions when appropriate.
(5) Develop, or oversee the development of, information systems to assist in specialized safety program management (for example, Web sites, databases, and training).
(6) Distribute materials and information related to specialized safety program activities.
(7) Promote the involvement of management by identifying specialized program-related safety issues and by providing management with recommendations for corrective action(s).
(8) Recommend or require safety equipment, training, and procedures for tasks involving specialized safety program activities.
(9) Monitor user training to ensure compliance with Federal, DOI, and USGS requirements and to ensure consistency, correctness, coverage, and overall quality of the training.
(10) 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.
(11) 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.
(12) Establish subcommittees or ad hoc work groups, as needed.
B. 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 102-33, DM Part 352 for Aviation Safety, and the Office of Aviation Services Operational Procedures Memorandums.
(2) Reviews costs for aviation management and operations and provides guidance to ensure retention of priority functions within the Bureau.
(3) Administers an aviation award program.
C. Dive Safety Board also:
(1) Develops and updates the Dive Safety Manual.
(2) Participates in developing dive safety plans.
(3) Oversees approval of dive plans.
D. 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 firearms use.
E. Large Vessel Safety Committee also:
(1) Establishes and maintains a Safety Management System (SMS) 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 centerand large vessel specific SMS(s).
(3) Instructs management and field personnel on Streamlined Inspection Process (SIP) document control and training.
(4) Provides training to Designated Persons in large vessel management and control.
(5) Supports science centers’ large vessel operations by providing necessary programmatic assistance regarding organizational support, resource recommendations, operational guidelines, and SMS document control management.
(6) Recommends corrective actions based on assessment findings pursuant to the SIP.
(7) Supports, monitors, and audits the phased roll-out and long-term implementation of the SMS which contains a total of 62 benchmark consensus standards based on standards of 46 CFR Part 28, Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels.
(8) Identifies and keeps current a comprehensive inventory of large vessels for implementation of the SMS.
(9) Populates SMS Vessel Operating Procedures, Emergency Preparedness, and Inspection Criteria and reference consensus standards.
(10) Assists with the streamlined inspection process, safety audits, document management, and control.
F. 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 (for example, 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.
9. Reporting Requirements.
A. Specialized Safety Program Committees develop any reports necessary to conduct business and evaluate the overall performance and achievement of Committee decisions.
B. Agendas and minutes are published and distributed to all Committee or Board members and the Occupational Safety and Health Council. The Chair ensures that minutes are retained for a minimum of 2 years from the date of the meeting.
C. Specialized Safety Program Committees 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 DASHO through the Occupational Safety and Health Council.
10. Meetings. The Specialized Safety Program Committees 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.
A. The Aviation Advisory Committee meets no less than twice per year.
B. The Dive Safety Board meets quarterly.
C. The Firearms Safety Committee meets quarterly.
D. The Large Vessel Safety Committee meets quarterly.
E. The Watercraft Safety Committee meets quarterly.
11. Subcommittees and Work Groups. Subcommittees and ad hoc work groups may be formed, as needed, to address specific tasks and provide reports to the Occupational Safety and Health Council.
12. Voting. The act of the majority of members is the act of the Specialized Safety Program Committee.
13. Salary, Travel, and Incidental Costs. Specialized Safety Program Managers’ and Regional Safety Program Managers’ costs are funded by the Occupational Safety and Health Management Branch in the Office of Management Services, Office of Administration. All other committee members’ costs are funded by each participant’s represented organization. Other expenses may be pre-approved by the appropriate authorized individual and be covered by a written agreement.