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ESH Manual Page: 5000: Incident Management and Notification
1.0 PURPOSE

The Incident Notification System (INS) at the Sanford Underground Research Facility at Homestake (SURF) describes procedures for notifying senior management and outside stakeholders, including its funding agencies and regulatory agencies, of incidents affecting:
the health and safety of employees, guests, researchers, contractors, and the general public;
the environment;
the SURF facility and equipment;
the intended purpose of SURF facilities; and/or
the image of SURF or its funding agencies.

2.0 SCOPE

The INS focuses specifically on reporting incidents to senior management and outside stakeholders. Internal reporting and investigation of such incidents is outlined in SURF’s Incident Reporting, Response and Investigation Policy. Communication of incidents to employees, the media, and surrounding community is discussed in SURF’s Crisis Communication Plan.

3.0 RESPONSIBILITIES Employees (Lab Workers)

Report any abnormal incidents, as specified in the Incident Reporting, Response and Investigation Policy.

Emergency Response Coordinator (ERC)

When made aware of an incident, initiate the Incident Notification System by contacting the EHS Director.
When the EHS Director is not available, assign an initial Significance Category and notify the SURF Laboratory Director.

EHS Director

Assign Significance Categories for reported incidents.
Initiate the INS process by notifying the SURF Laboratory Director and the South Dakota Office of Risk Management of reported incidents in accordance with the reporting requirements of this policy.
Complete all incident reporting requirements, including Incident Notification Reports and EHS monthly reports in accordance with the requirements of this policy.
Forward a copy of Incident Notification Reports to the South Dakota Office of Risk Management.

SDSTA Executive Director

Report incidents to the SDSTA Board of Directors in accordance with the requirements of this policy.
Review Incident Notification Reports.

SURF Operations Office Head

Report incidents to the funding agencies in accordance with the requirements of this policy.
Review and forward Incident Notification Reports to the funding agencies.

SURF Laboratory Director

Reporting incidents to the SURF Head and the SDSTA Executive Director
Reviewing Incident Notification Reports.

SURF Science Director

Communicating information related to incidents to science collaborations.

4.0 DEFINITIONS

ERC: Emergency Response Coordinator

INS: Incident Notification System—Incident Notification Report: a report, specific to INS that is intended to communicate further details of a specific incident to senior management, regulatory agencies, and funding agencies

5.0 PROCEDURES AND PLANS

5.1. Significance Categories

SURF has defined Significance Categories for abnormal incidents. Every reported incident is assigned a Significance Category, which determines the notification, investigation, and reporting requirements. Tables providing guidance for selecting the appropriate Significance Category based on type of incident are found in Appendix A. The Significance Categories consider the impact on safe facility operations, worker or public safety and health, regulatory compliance, or public/business interests and are:

Significance Category 1: significant impact

Significance Category 2: moderate impact

Significance Category 3: minor impact

Significance Category 4: minimal impact, i.e. incidents that do not meet (i.e. are less significant than) the threshold of a Category 3 incident.

5.2. Incident Reporting and Categorization

Employees must report all abnormal incidents to the Emergency Response Coordinator (ERC)
and EHS as specified in the Incident Reporting, Response and Investigation Policy. Upon notification of an incident, the ERC will notify the EHS Director, who will then assign the Significance Category. If the EHS Director is not available, the ERC will assign an initial categorization.

5.3. Incident Notification to Senior Management and Outside Stakeholders

Initiating the formal INS notification process is the responsibility of the EHS Director. The level of categorization determines the urgency for reporting an incident to senior management, funding agencies, and regulatory agencies. Notification requirements are as follows:

5.3.1. Significance Category 1-significant and 2-moderate: 

All category 1 and 2 incidents must be reported immediately to senior management, funding agencies, and regulatory agencies. The notification steps are as follows (See appendix B for a flow chart of the notification process):

  1. The EHS Director will notify the SURF Laboratory Director, the South Dakota Office of Risk Management, followed by the Science Director as soon as factual information can be confirmed.
  2. The Laboratory Director will notify the SDSTA Executive Director and the SURF Operations Office Head.
  3. The SURF Operations Office Head and SDSTA Executive Director will then attempt to verbally notify the funding agencies and SDSTA Board of Directors Chairman, respectively. Should the verbal notification fail for any reason, notification will be made by e-mail.
  4. The Science Director will notify the science collaborations.
  5. The EHS Director must complete An Incident Notification Report for submission to the project’s funding and regulatory agencies within 24 hours of categorization. This report is first sent to the SURF Laboratory Director, the SDSTA Executive Director, the SURF Operations Office Head, and the Science Director. After review, the SURF Operations Office Head will forward a copy to the funding agencies, the EHS Director will forward a copy to the South Dakota Office of Risk Management, and the Science Director will forward a copy to the science collaborations.

In the event any member of this reporting process is unable to contact the member they are responsible for notifying, they must then notify the next in line.

5.3.2. Significance Category 3-minor: Immediate notification up the reporting chain is not required for Category 3 incidents. Reporting requirements are as follows:

The EHS Director will determine when to notify the SURF Laboratory Director, the SDSTA Executive Director, and the SURF Operations Office Head. However, notification must be made within 24 hours.
An Incident Notification Report, prepared by the EHS Director, is required for Category 3 incidents. This report is sent to the SURF Laboratory Director, the SDSTA Executive Director, and the SURF Operations Office Head within two days of categorizing the event.

Category 3 incidents will be summarized and communicated to the funding agencies and the South Dakota Office of Risk Management in the monthly EHS report. Preparation of the EHS monthly report is the responsibility of the EHS Director.

5.3.3. Significance Category 4-minimal: Immediate notification up the reporting chain is not required for Category 4 incidents. Reporting requirements are as follows:

The EHS Director will determine when to notify the SURF Laboratory Director, the SDSTA Executive Director, and the SURF Operations Office Head. All OSHA recordable incidents, regardless of Significance Category, must be reported to senior management within 24 hours.
Category 4 incidents may be summarized and communicated to the funding and regulatory agencies in the monthly report, but this is not required. This will be decided by the EHS director.
An Incident Notification Report is NOT required for Category 4 incidents.

5.3.4.Further Reporting Requirements: When making notifications, all information should be clear and succinct, avoiding any jargon. Uncommon or site- or facility-specific abbreviations and acronyms should be fully described. If the incident is re-categorized, prompt notification should be performed under the requirements of the new category. Follow-up notification is required if there is further degradation of the occurrence or other worsening conditions subsequent to the previous notification.

6.0 REFERENCE AND RELATED DOCUMENTS

6.1. Related Documents

 Incident Notification Report
 Incident Reporting, Response and Investigation Policy

6.2. Appendices

Appendix A: Reportable Incidents and Significance Categories
Appendix B: Incident Notification Process Flowchart