Planning Your Work and Experiment

Work Planning Control (WPC)

A crucial component of safety education for all personnel is to nurture basic attitudes and habits of prudent behavior so that safety is a valued and inseparable part of all work activities.

Timely and effective planning of work activities ensures that all aspects of work are being considered and appropriate mitigations are in place.  It is the responsibility of every individual working in the Sciences Directorate to be aware of and familiar with the hazards associated with their work and the laboratory environments that they conduct research in. Everybody is responsible for following work procedures and protocols and ensuring that resources are available to perform their work in a safe manner.

SLAC’s work planning and control (WPC) program is an integral part of ensuring that safety is built in to all of our activities. The expectation from the Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Science and Line Management is that all staff, students, post docs and visitors or users MUST adopt and use work planning and control principles when planning and performing experiments both at SLAC and other off site locations.

Employees in the Directorate, typically fall under two categories, office workers and laboratory workers (including those working on projects, such as ATLAS, EXO, LZ etc.). Laboratory workers can be permanently assigned to a lab area or work in a lab on a temporary assignment.  The WPC process is the same for both temporary and permanent laboratory workers.

Additional planning needed for work with radioactive materials, radiation generating devices and nanomaterials.


Work Categories

Work is categorized based on complexity into three categories, as specified below:

Green Work: All office work and management walk-arounds fall into the green work category.  Office workers follow the standard SLAC process for obtaining a SLAC badge and keys to their office areas.  Having a valid SLAC badge and adhering to signage requirements when entering buildings grants you authorization an release.

Yellow Work: All laboratory work falls into the yellow category.  Laboratory workers follow a more detailed process.  Prior to performing experimental work, authorization and release must be granted by your supervisor and ESH Safety Coordinator.

Red Work: All laser service subcontractor work is currently clasified as Red Work. Please refer to the Laser Service Subcontractor Work Planning and Control Procedure (PDF)

WPC Flow Chart














Threshold Review Form

The Threshold Form is used to document whether a proposed activity can be categorized as a "work activity" or a "project activity" that needs to be reviewed through one or both of the experimental and conventional project review processes.

The form is to be completed by the responsible person for the activity, with assistance from his or her ESH coordinator; approved by the building/area manager and requestor's department head; and maintained by the responsible person.

Threshold Form (docx). All forms may be found in "Helpful Resources" in "Forms", and on the Home Page.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

If you are working with any samples or reagents that are significantly toxic, reactive, corrosive, flammable, or otherwise especially hazardous, we may require an approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) before you can begin work.  Examples: Reagents with an NFPA Rating of 3 or 4 in any category, nanomaterials, heavy metals, pyrophoric materials, water reactive materials.

An SOP is require for experimental activities. Not all activities require an SOP, but this determination is based after a conversation with your ESH Safety Coordinator.  In the event that your experiment involves the use of nanomaterials, a separate procedure checklist form needs to be completed, documenting the type of nanomaterial used and appropriate contorls.   Your ESH coordinator will work with the SLAC Nanomaterials program manager to log the experiment into a SLAC wide database for DOE tracking purposes.

SOP Form and Nanomaterial Procedure Checklist Form (docx). All forms may be found in "Helpful Resources" in "Forms", and on the Home Page

The PubChem website will help you with your SOP hazard statements. The link is also on the Home

Additional information may be found in the Chemicals, Gases, and Hazardous Waste Management section.

Completed Standard Operating Forms (SOP) may be found on our SharePoint Site.  You will need SLAC credentials and permission to view.  Contact Nimmi Kovvali  @ kovvalin@SLAC.Stanford.EDU or Larissa Williams @ larissa@SLAC.Stanford.EDU to obtain access.

Management Walk Around

SLAC has a management walk around (MWA) policy that states “The goal of the program is for management and supervision to engage employees and obtain feedback to ensure that all aspects of work activities and processes are understood, necessary controls are being implemented, and processes are continuously improving.”

The SLAC Contractor Assurance group has created a mobile app that can be downloaded and used to document walkarounds. The group has also developed a series of “Guidance Cards” that provide useful information while performing these walks.  The agreed upon frequency of management walk arounds within the Science Directorate are currently being refined. The MWA information will be posted here when the document is completed.

Here is the link to the Mobile App