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In 2019, NNSA released three strategic documents outlining its vision as “One Enterprise, Unified by Mission.” As part of that vision, the Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations is looking toward innovative improvements in information sharing and collaboration. However, with eight sites, seven field offices, six program offices, five functional offices, and over 50,000 employees – information sharing is a formidable challenge.

As NNSA’s work continues to increase in scope and complexity, the information and requirements it manages are a coupled and multipart system, where cause and effect are difficult to foresee. At the same time, its sum total of experience of safety professionals is decreasing. In fact, 40 percent of NNSA’s workforce is eligible to retire within the next five years. With the expanding complexities of a 21st Century Nuclear Security Enterprise, NNSA needs to equip its current and future workforce with modern tools that add value and efficiencies.

Fire protection engineers
NNSA Fire Protection Engineers, Lenny Farello (right) and Tom Sanchez (left), in the B481 Hangar at Sandia National Laboratories. Fire protection is an integral part of NNSA’s safety operations.

To begin the identification of what those tools might be, NNSA has launched the Safety Roadmap, looking to:

  • Understand the interdependencies, cause, and effects of safety systems
  • Measure and monitor the health and risk of safety systems
  • Increase the effectiveness and efficiencies of our workforce
  • Capture the knowledge of our workforce ensuring its availability across the enterprise and for the future
  • Provide new insights in information gathering and synthesis to ensure we are measuring what matters, and treating the information we gather as a strategic asset

“This document provides the conceptual framework and timeline that the Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations will use to work collaboratively with NNSA Headquarters, Field Offices, and our M&O partners toward improving safety management,” Jim McConnell, NNSA Associate Administrator of Infrastructure, Safety, and Operations, notes about the Safety Roadmap.

Effective execution of these improvements in NNSA’s safety oversight functions will require unity and transparency across the Enterprise.

NNSA is working to enhance the efforts of its workforce, capture the impact of safety on its missions, and foster healthy, robust, and proactive safety management systems. Ultimately, NNSA aims to ensure it is 50,000 strong; working from a single source of truth and as an integrated organization that learns as work is performed and experiences are captured.