190 Albany Street, NW21 2nd floor
617-258-5473 Nancy Masley)
617-253-8440 (Catherine Fiore)
617-253-8917 (Matt Fulton)
617-253-5982 (Bill Byford)
 Fax 617-252-1808

Notice to All Personnel

Be Safe or Die



This document includes basic information about the safety program and policies of the the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) and of the Institute. It is designed as a brief overview of some of the many programs which are in place at the Center. Please seek more specific information from the ES&H Office on the second floor of NW21 if you have any questions or concerns regarding safe work practices.  A complete guide to safety at the PSFC can be found at

PSFC Safety Policy

As specified by MIT's policies and procedures, the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) is committed to the maintenance of a safe working and learning environment. ALL personnel are responsible for doing their part to ensure the safety of themselves, their students, and their coworkers. Work is to be done in accordance with federal, state, and local regulation.

All PSFC personnel (including students and visitors) must be briefed regarding safety requirements and practices related to the laboratory, shop, or office area in which they will be working by their supervisor before they start work or are allowed unescorted access to the site. (See Nancy Masley, NW21-215 for Safety Briefing forms and other pertinent safety related information)

Faculty, administration, and research supervisory personnel are responsible for promoting safe practices and for providing safe equipment and facilities for members of the staff, students, and visitors. Each person using the equipment and facilities of the Institute is expected to follow proper and safe procedures, to report accidents promptly, and to bring to the attention of supervisors and faculty members any unsafe conditions or practices. Safety in the laboratory can be achieved only by the exercise of judgment and proper use of facilities by informed, responsible individuals. Anyone who carries on the Institute's business is responsible for doing so in a reasonable and non-negligent manner.

ES&H Office and Safety Committee

In order to more effectively oversee the safety of PSFC personnel, the PSFC Director has created the PSFC Office of Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H), which is located on the second floor of NW21. It is headed by Dr. Catherine Fiore. As Head of ES&H at the Center, she has full authorization to act on behalf of the Director in the interest of the safety of PSFC personnel and equipment. The Office of ES&H is also staffed by:

Matt Fulton, Facilities Manager and Safety Coordinator. His safety duties include administrating and coordinating all PSFC safety training, meetings, inspection tours, chemical purchases and inventories, teaching CPR, and assisting with the promulgation of safety procedures and documents. He also acts as Crime Prevention Officer and Emergency Action Plan Coordinator.

Nancy Masley, Administrative Assistant.  Nancy’s duties include administrative support for all ES&H Office activities, as well as administrative support for office of Technical Operations and Planning, and Facilities.  She also maintains the safety briefing files and updates the safety training records.  Nancy issues door access cards and keys.

Bill Byford is a licensed electrician and oversees the Electrical Safety Program and the welding permit program  He also performs safety briefings for the Alcator group.

Support for the PSFC safety program is provided from MIT Environmental Health and Safety Office as well. Andrew Kalil from the Industrial Hygiene Program is the lead contact for the PSFC and provides a liaison with the MIT EH& S office.  Fred McWilliams from the Radiation Protection Program,  and Dan Kallin from the Environmental Management Program are available to provide specialized advice in their areas of expertise.

The ES&H Office has assembled a large amount of written materials concerning state, local, federal, and DOE health and safety regulation. Materials relating to generally accepted safe work practices as well as all of MIT's and the PSFC's policies are also maintained. All personnel are encouraged to make use of this collection of information by going to NW21-215 or callling the ES&H Office at x3-85437


Safety Committee Members

Member Name Title Phone Number Office E-mail address
Paul Bonoli Senior Research Scientist,PSFC 617-253-0992 NW17-121 BONOLI@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Bill Byford Asst. Safety Officer/Plant Engineer, PSFC 617-253-5982 NW21-205 BYFORD@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Marissa Cardwell
EHS Officer, BSP
Phyllis Carter
EHS Officer, EMP
617-252-2508 N52-496 PCARTER@MIT.EDU
Gary Dekow
Technical Supervisor
617-253-6177 NW21-107 DEKOW@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Bret Dyer
Officer, EHS
617-258-5644 N52-473
Jim Doughty
Officer, IHP
Catherine Fiore , Chair  Head, Office of ES&H,PSFC 617-253-8440 NW21-203 FIORE@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Matt Fulton Facilities and Safety Coordinator, PSFC 617-253-8917 NW21-214 FULTON@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Mitch Galanek
Deputy Director, RPP
Tom Hrycaj Administrative Officer,PSFC 617-253-4726 NW16-202 HRYCAJ@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Mark Iverson Project Technician,PSFC 617-253-0156 NW21-173 IVERSON@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Magnet Lab Reb

Fred McWilliams
EHS Lead Contact, RPP 617-253-5603 N52-457
Phillip Michael Technical Supervisor, PSFC 617-253-3186 NW22-137 MICHAEL@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Brian Munroe
Graduate Student, PSFC
Magnet Lab Rep
Ed Rollins Project Technician, PSFC 617-253-0156 NW21-173 ROLLINS@PSFC.MIT.EDU
Ernie Doeg
Research Specialist, PSFC

Please feel free to approach any member of the Committee with your comments and concerns regarding SAFETY at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center.


MIT Emergency Number: Dial 100 In Case Of Fire Or Other Safety/Accident Emergency

Fire Drills: The PSFC may conduct fire drills at its discretion. Always assume that a building must be evacuated if the fire alarm is sounding.

Building Evacuation Instructions: Each building administratively assigned to the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (NW16, NW17, NW20, NW21, and NW22) has floor plans posted near the exits and in the hallways with color-coded building evacuation routes. The locations of safety equipment and alarms are clearly indicated on these floor plans, which are updated as any changes occur. All employees are instructed to review these plans, and in case of an emergency, assist visitors with the proper egress of the building. All personnel shall immediately vacate the building when the alarm is sounded and assemble on the opposite side of the street.


It is the supervisor's responsibility to make sure personnel adhere to the following procedures for any job-related accident/injury:


  1. Personnel are to be advised of emergency procedures, egress routes, the locations of fire extinguishers, and the location of safety showers, and eyewashes.
  2. Working alone is prohibited on operations or experiments which may be hazardous. This includes, but is not limited to work on: high-energy materials; significant quantities of flammable or toxic materials; high pressure systems; radioactive and cryogenic materials; moving equipment and machinery; energized electrical systems; Class IV lasers; and high magnetic fields.
  3. Use of hazardous chemicals is to be done in accordance with the PSFC Chemical Hygiene Plan. All used and unneeded chemicals are to be disposed of properly, as specified in the PSFC Hazardous Waste Procedure. No chemicals, oils, or solvents are to be poured into sinks, drains, or storm sewers . The Chemical Hygiene Officer must approve the requisition or purchase of all materials containing potentially hazardous chemicals.
  4. Live electrical work is limited to qualified personnel. Work on house electrical systems is to be performed only by a licensed electrician or under the direct supervision of a licensed electrician.
  5. Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn in any areas where it is specified or when performing any operation which requires it.
  6. Confined spaces may only be accessed by personnel who have been approved for confined space work and who have received the required training. Entries must be done in accordance with the PSFC Confined Space Program.
  7. Powered industrial equipment (forklifts, cranes) may be operated only by trained and authorized personnel.
  8. New experiments and significant changes to existing experiments are subject to review by the PSFC Safety Committee prior to operation..
  9. Information about the Environment, Health and Safety Program at MIT can be found at


Safety Briefing and Training Needs Assessment


1.     Upon arrival, all new PSFC Employees, Students, Visiting Scholars/Scientists and Contractors, must first check in with Leslie West, in NW16-212.  You will complete and “Emergency Notification” forms.  You will also complete any other necessary Personnel paperwork.  Please note, UROP students must have their UROP must submit the UROP Proposal/Application to the MIT UROP office.  This can be done on line at,  The proposal must be approved by the UROP office before students can be given a safety briefing, issued a door card and start working.  If you have any questions about this issue, contact Leslie West at or call 8-5474.

2.     Once cleared through the PSFC Personnel Administrator (Leslie West), the supervisor or their designate, will give a “safety briefing.  Safety briefing forms can be obtained from Leslie West in NW16-212, Nancy Masley in NW21-215 or on line at, - click on the “Safety Briefing Form” link, on the top left.  The safety briefing will include, Safety Equipment Available, the PSFC Safety Plan, MIT Campus Police and Safe Ride Service, Emergency Telephones, Albany Street Safety, and Office Security and Safety.  Once the Safety Briefing is completed and the form has all appropriate signatures, phycically, take the form to Nancy Masley in NW21-215 and she will issue a door card and necessary keys.  Please note that the Safety Briefing process MUST be completed before door card and keys can be issued.

3.     All new employees, students, visiting scholars and contractors, must complete the MIT EHS, Training Need Assessment within 7 to 10 days of receiving the door access card.  This is an on line questionnaire, that determines what safety training each person will need.  The Training Needs Assessment can be found  This requires a an MIT ID number and a Kerberos account (MIT email address/Athena account). 


Safety Courses

The goal of the PSFC Safety Seminar Series which is sponsored by the PSFC Safety Committee in conjunction with the MIT Safety Office, is to provide appropriate information to PSFC personnel relating to lab and office safety, emergency procedures and injuries.

The PSFC has implemented a procedure which tracks, for each employee and student, those safety courses which a supervisor has requested that they take. Both the supervisor and the employee are kept informed of the completion status of these courses. Standard courses which may be required by the supervisor of an employee, depending on their job description, include:

General Safety:

Lab Safety:

Whether required or not, all personnel are encouraged to take the various safety courses offered by the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, especially the potentially life-saving course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. As of 1986-87, all undergraduate students at the PSFC have been included in this program as well.


The PSFC has adopted a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) pursuant to OSHA regulation 29CFR1910.1450. Catherine Fiore is the Chemical Hygiene Officer. The CHP is available to all PSFC personnel. It can be found on-line at ./chemhyg.html. An updated version may be signed-out through Matt Fulton in NW21-214, or the PSFC Library, NW16-153. The plan covers Federal, Institute, and PSFC policies related to chemical use at the PSFC. The CHP includes the following PSFC SOP's:

(*) This procedure will be included pending completion.

Users of hazardous substances must be trained in the proper use and precautions required by those materials. While securing the appropriate training is the responsibility or the supervisor, the PSFC in conjunction with IHO presents Chemical Safety Seminars annually. Specialized training can be coordinated through the ES&H Office.  Basic chemical hygiene and hazardous waste management training can be obtained on-line at

The person ordering gases and chemicals is responsible for the proper storage, use, and disposal of these materials. Before chemicals may be brought into PSFC environs, the requisitioner must obtain an authorized signature from the ES&H Office. ES&H logs information regarding the hazard level of the material ordered and, if appropriate, will forward the information to the Industrial Hygiene Office for recommendations on required standard operating procedures (SOP's) related to the material. A Material Safety (MSDS) Data Sheet and appropriate hazard warning labels are attached to hazardous substance containers. MSDS's can be obtained from the MIT Safety Office, or the manufacturer. The Office of ES&H endeavors to keep MSDS's for all hazardous substances used at the PSFC.

All supervisors are responsible for daily safety routines and for educating lab personnel on guidelines unique to their specific duties. The PSFC completes an inventory of "hazardous substances" annually. Lab use of hazardous substances is subject to regular inspection by the PSFC Safety Committee, with some monitoring done by EMS and the MIT Safety Office.

Disposal of hazardous chemical waste is detailed in the PSFC Hazardous Waste Procedure. Pickup is coordinated through the MIT Environmental Program (waste collection site) or 2-3477. Waste may be kept in a "satellite accumulation area" until the properly labeled container is full, then moved to a "hazardous waste accumulation site" to await removal. Waste containers must be properly capped and stored at all times. Never dispose of hazardous waste materials by pouring into a sink, drain, storm drain or on the ground.


OSHA requires that all persons working on or near energized electrical equipment at voltages > 50 V receive training appropriate to their work. This includes training in the following SOP's:


Work performed in a confined space is considered particularly hazardous and requires site specific training. Several areas at the PSFC have identified as confined spaces, e.g., the Alcator C-Mod Vacuum Vessel, the VTF Vacuum Vessel, and the Alternator and Lube Oil . Many of the spaces require a confined space permit for entry. All require that work follow a detailed SOP. Those SOP's currently in use are as follows:


In matters concerning radiation safety, the Plasma Science and Fusion Center interacts directly with Fred McWilliams of the MIT Radiation Protection Program. As appropriate, new personnel assigned to work in radiation areas are trained by RPP personnel.  Questions regarding the dangers and procedures surrounding the fusion experimental facilities should be directed to Catherine Fiore or Fred McWilliams.

Use of radioactive materials, sources, and equipment which produce ionizing radiation at MIT must be authorized by the Radiation Protection Program. Use of Class IIIb and IV lasers, microwave sources, and magnetic fields is also overseen by RPP and requires authorization.  All Class IIIb and IV lasers must be registered.


Cutting and Welding operations outside of designated welding areas require a permit obtainable from, Bill Byford, NW21-205, or Dave Arsenault, NW21-119.


* Eye exams are required for laser and microwave device users and must be completed prior to working on this equipment.

* A medical exam for respirator use is required before anyone at the Institute may wear a respirator and can be obtained through MIT Medical (call 3-7625) to obtain and appointment. A respirator fit test is done at the MIT EHS office upon completion of the medical exam.

* Confined Space Workers in the Alcator program are required to have a full medical exam before entering severely restricted confined spaces.

* Persons routinely exposed to a variety of hazardous materials, e.g., lead, beryllium, asbestos, et al, are periodically monitored by the MIT Medical Department.

Work-Related Medical Exams are given by the MIT Medical Department free of charge.


The PSFC Safety Committee conducts semi-annual inspections of those MIT buildings under its' jurisdiction (NW14, NW16, NW17, NW20, NW21, NW22). The Asst. Safety Officer and Safety Coordinator conduct safety inspections of PSFC lab and corridor space weekly.  The Safety Committee also alerts supervisors of areas where a potentially unsafe condition exists, and when appropriate, utilizes the "Report of Unsafe Condition" form for this purpose.

Any member of the PSFC community who notices a potential fire, health or other safety hazard is encouraged to report it to their supervisor and/or to any PSFC safety committee member.

This page maintained by Catherine L. Fiore FIORE@PSFC.MIT.EDU Last updated 1/21/2014

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