Berkeley Lab


What is WPC ?

Work Planning and Control (WPC) is a program to implement integrated safety management (ISM). The main goals of WP&C are the following:

  •  All hazards are analyzed and controlled
  • All workers demonstrate that they are qualified to perform activities
  • All work is authorized
  • All authorizations (job hazard analysis, activity hazard documents, biological use authorizations, rad work authorization) are combined in a single program

The program is graded.

  • For low hazard and moderate work, an Activity Lead creates and oversees the activity. When the Activity is finalized and active, supervisors are notified that employees have been added and the supervisor may remove the employee from the activity.
  • For high hazard work, the Activity Lead creates and oversees the Activity, but there is a collaborative review process involving EHS, Division Safety Coordinators and management approval.  The supervisor needs to approve staff’s participation.

What is Activity Manager ?

Activity Manager (AM) is a software tool to implement Work Planning & Control using a graded approach. Each activity is assigned an Activity Lead from a pool of employees authorized by Division Management to create and oversee activities. The Activity Lead defines the scope and location of the activity and selects the hazards from a library, which may be easily refined for more specificity. Based on the hazards, Activity Manager assigns controls and a risk level (low:1, medium:2, high:3). High risk activities require concurrence from an EH&S subject matter expert and explicit authorization from Division Management.

The Activity Lead assigns workers to the activity and sets their authorization level. Levels are: “assigned, not authorized to work”, “work with supervision”, “Work unsupervised” and  “Work alone”. These authorization levels are determined by the Activity Lead.

  • “Work with Supervision” may be assigned during the period of time a worker is completing their Activity-related required EHS safety training, and while receiving their on-the-job training.
  • “Work Unsupervised” may be assigned when the worker has demonstrated, to the Activity Leads’ satisfaction, their ability to work safely and effectively.
  • “Work Alone” is per LBNL’s Work Alone policy.

For a given activity, the AM effectively creates a tailored safety manual distilled from the LBNL requirements and provides links to additional information about the hazards and controls. The AM also allows attachments and location where all safety documents (e.g., procedures) may be stored and easily accessed.

Who can be an Activity Lead?

Divisions are responsible for designating Project Leads who in turn are responsible for designating Activity Leads.  An activity lead is anyone who directs, trains, or oversees the work and activities of one or more workers. Activity Leads provide instruction on working safely and the precautions necessary to use equipment and facilities safely and effectively.

Persons designated as Activity Leads must be capable of fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of the Activity Leads which include:

  • Utilize the ISM process for each activity within they manage, including the preparation of a statement of work outlining the scope of the activity, determining the hazards associated with the work, and designating the controls needed to mitigate the hazards
  • Review and approve activities
  • Determine the On-the-Job Training (OJT) needed to prepare staff to safely carry out the scope of work
  • Ensure that all supplemental work authorizations are obtained and maintained
  • Assign staff to the activity
  • Communicate to staff the scope, hazards, and controls for the activity, including any changes affecting the scope and safety of the activity
  • Perform the necessary OJT to prepare a staff member for the tasks associated with the activity
  • Determine the appropriate level of authorization for each worker based on their competency and the hazards of the work
  • Provide oversight, guidance and supervision of the activity
  • Provide performance evaluation input to the line manager of the activity lead or the worker where applicable.

Selection of Activity Leads is a line management decision with one exception.   Represented clerical workers cannot serve as Activity Leads. Represented clerical workers can assist in an administrative capacity (e.g., acting as an Activity Lead solely for the purpose of adding content to the activity in the developing stage and then being removed as Activity Lead before the activity is sent for line management approval). Similarly, represented clerical workers can act as an Activity Lead Designee solely for the purpose of adding workers to an activity to facilitate the administration of the activity. They cannot authorize workers, waive training requirements or set restrictions.

How does Activity Manager’s approval process work ?

Activity Manager has built-in workflow approval process. By design, approvals will take a specific ordered course. The ability of a user to approve an activity is restricted until the appropriate time.

Risk level 1 and 2 activities require the Activity Lead (AL) to approve the work. The Project Lead (PL) provides the final approval.  However, for Divisions that have chosen to have their Division Safety Coordinator (DSC) approve level 2 activities, the DSC will provides the final approval after the Project Lead.

Click diagram to enlarge

Click diagram to enlarge


Click diagram to enlarge

 How do I find out more about WPC and Activity Manager ?

There are several resources to provide guidance contained on this website.  For details about your division’s implementation plan and training, ask your Division Safety Coordinator (DSC).  Find your DSC using the EHS Directory.  Your supervisor can help you determine which work authorization will be required for your assignments.