PSFC Office of Environment, Safety and Health


Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Office of Environment, Safety, and Health


190 Albany Street, NW21 2nd floor
617-253-8440
617-253-8917
617-258-5473
Fax 617-252-1808

Be Safe or Die


Charter for the PSFC Safety Committee


I. Introduction

The MIT Plasma Fusion Center (PSFC) is a research laboratory at MIT devoted to the study of plasma physics and its applications. The scope of research includes magnetic plasma fusion experiments, high frequency rf source development, ionospheric plasma physics, plasma processing, and fusion reactor design among other research areas.

The director of the PSFC is responsible for providing adequate facilities, equipment, instruments, supervision, and instructions to control environmental and safety hazards and to comply with applicable state and federal requirements. In order to better fill this responsibility the Director of the PSFC has appointed a Safety Officer and a Safety Committee which report to him.

II. Scope

This document describes the mandate of the safety committee and details of how its role will be fulfilled. Its duties will be defined, the staffing and structure outlined, the meeting schedule detailed, and its authorities and reporting requirements will be laid out.

III. Structure and Meetings

The Safety Committee shall consist of a number of PSFC personnel of varying technical and administrative backgrounds, representative of the PSFC population as a whole, who are dedicated to providing a safe workplace at the PSFC. They must be familiar with safety issues in their own work areas, and also have expertise in some area of safety concerns commonly found at the PSFC. The members must have a demonstrated commitment to safety.

In addition to PSFC personnel, several MIT safety professionals also sit on the PSFC Safety Committee in an advisory capacity. At this time representatives of the MIT Radiation Protection Office, the MIT Industrial Hygiene Office, and the MIT Safety Office participate in all Safety Committee activities.

The committee is chaired by the PSFC Safety Officer, who is responsible for setting the meeting agenda, calling emergency sessions, establishing subcommittees, and reporting to the director.
Administrative functions are performed by the Assistant PSFC Safety Officer and the Secretary of the Safety Committee. These include arranging meetings and seminars, distributing written materials generated by and for the committee, and reporting the meeting minutes.

The PSFC Safety Committee shall meet monthly to review current safety concerns, discuss and approve safety procedures, and to advise the PSFC Director through the Safety Officer on safety policy. Emergency sessions may be called for immediate review of accidents or serious safety infringements by the Safety Officer or his/her designate.

IV. Duties

The duties of the Safety Committee include:

  1. To conduct regularly scheduled safety inspections (twice yearly) of the entire PSFC. Unsafe conditions and unsafe prctices shall be noted in these inspections.
  2. To participate in the monthly meetings as described in the previous section.
  3. To provide current information to PSFC personnel on safety issues on a day to day basis and through monthly seminars.
  4. To work with MIT safety professionals and PSFC personnel to resolve safety issues at the PSFC.
  5. To take the responsibility for averting imminent safety hazards in the absence of MIT safety professionals or appropriate supervisory personnel. (Such actions are undertaken by two or more Safety Committee members working in conjunction whenever possible.)
  6. To provide an on site safety presence at the PSFC on a daily basis and to serve as a good example to the community.
  7. To investigate lost work day accidents and to review all accident reports. They shall make recommendations to the director and supervisors as needed.
  8. To review safety aspects of new experiments and of changes in existing experiments.
  9. To participate in safety audits of PSFC operations as required.

V. Training

Members of the Safety Committee shall be provided with current information on state, and federal regulations in the ES& H area by the PSFC Office of Environment, Safety, and Health. They shall meet with MIT safety personnel to review inspection and audit requirements, at the regularly scheduled Safety Committee Meetings, prior to each performance of an inspection or audit. New members shall receive individual training in walk-through inspections from an MIT safety professional or a representative of the PSFC Office of Environment, Safety, and Health.