Environment, Safety and Health

Ames Laboratory's Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) Department partners with scientists, staff, and students to provide quality safety and health services, education, and technical guidance through engagement and expertise.

ESH provides service in the following areas:

Emergency Management

ESH coordinates emergency management (EM) and continuity of operations (COOP) for Ames Laboratory. We conduct annual planning exercises, shelter and evacuation drills, and coordinate actions with ISU Emergency Management, ISU Police, Ames Fire Department, Story County Emergency Management and the Department of Energy.  

Environmental Protection

Ames Laboratory's Environmental Protection provides environmental compliance, waste management and sustainability efforts for the Laboratory. Environmental specialists support the Laboratory's research and operations activities through hazardous and radioactive waste management, environmental permitting, monitoring, reporting and emergency response as well as sustainability support. The environmental program also maintains the Laboratory's Environmental Management System according to ISO-14001.

Industrial Hygiene

Industrial hygiene (IH) is the science and art of the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of workplace hazards.  Ames Laboratory industrial hygienists monitor exposures to chemical and physical hazards to ensure that Laboratory employees do not suffer adverse health effects due to their work. In addition, the IH department verifies the performance of engineering controls such as fume hoods, consults on selection of Personal Protective Equipment, and oversees the chemical hygiene plan. 

Industrial Safety

In order to pursue its mission, Ames Laboratory recognizes the need for care of the environment, safety and health of its employees and the public. The Laboratory’s Integrated Safety Management System (ISM) is the foundation of the ongoing effort to provide a safe and productive workplace. Formal evaluation and approval of work and research practices integrates safety into all aspects of the work process and enables Ames to perform cutting edge research while protecting our employees, the public, and the environment.

We follow the key Integrated Safety Management System Objectives: Do It Safely and Do It Right. No work is so important that it needs to be done without proper safety measures.

Laser Safety

The Ames Laboratory Laser Safety Protection Program facilitates the safe use of lasers in research, and ensures the safety of personnel and visitors to the Laboratory.  The Laser Safety policy requires that all Class 3B and 4 lasers/laser systems be operated in accordance with approved standards. The Laser Safety Officer (LSO) inspects and approves laser systems, provides training, and conducts annual laser safety system checks.

Radiation Protection

Ames Laboratory is committed to a Radiological Protection Program (RPP) of the highest quality. This applies to Ames activities that utilize radiation producing devices and radioactive materials and that may potentially result in radiation exposure to workers, the public, and the environment. The Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) inspects and approves radiological systems, manages employee dosimetry, and conducts annual radiological safety system checks.