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Photo of researcher in laboratory.

Credit: Bob Fiehweg

NREL conducts research, support, and deployment activities in a manner that protects the safety and health of workers, visitors, the public, the environment, and laboratory assets.

NREL's Safety group works collaboratively with all organizations within NREL and with our Department of Energy counterparts. The Safety group focuses on providing high-quality and customer-focused services that are aligned with the goals of the Laboratory. We try to anticipate changes, recognize the hazards associated with these changes, and develop effective control measures—all in an effort to provide a safe and healthful workplace.

NREL's Five-Step Integrated Safety Management Process

NREL applies a simple five-step process when reviewing work to be conducted. The process is applied to all work conducted at NREL, regardless of duration of activity, complexity, location, perceived risk, worker competence, or relationship to NREL. The steps are applied similarly to a job as simple as changing a light bulb or to a complex laboratory activity.

Step 1: Define the scope of work
Step 2: Identify and evaluate the hazards associated with the work
Step 3: Implement controls to reduce the risk presented by each hazard
Step 4: Conduct the work within the defined scope and with all required controls in place
Step 5: Provide feedback developed during the work to improve the process

NREL has formal processes in place that are used to execute these five steps. These processes are integrated with laboratory management activities including, but not limited to, strategic and operational planning, prioritization of activities, allocation of resources, conduct of work, quality assurance, and assessment and improvement of performance.

The Hazard ID and Control Process is a continuous process that integrates the five core functions of integrated safety management: Step 1 - Define the scope of work; Step 2 - Analyze the hazards; Step 3 - Develop and implement hazard controls; Step 4 - Perform work;  Step 5 - Feedback and continuous improvement