NEES@UTexas Statement of Safety Policy
As one of 14 equipment sites comprising the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), NEES@UTexas offers research capabilities unique among its peers. Our primary research methodology incorporates the use of large-scale mobile seismic sources, or shaker trucks, in the field at research sites across the country. Transportation, operation and maintenance of this industrial equipment in a research setting present numerous challenges.
A typical NEES@UTexas project is the culmination of intensive preparation over the course of months or sometimes years. Funding, organization, scheduling and myriad logistical issues can define a strictly limited window of opportunity for successful completion of the project. On-site testing can involve long hours in stressful conditions for personnel and equipment. Inclement weather, mechanical failure and a host of other unforeseeable obstacles require strict standards of perseverance and professional conduct to overcome. Project operations are public and often highly visible; as a publicly-funded research organization, we must present a considered, accessible and professional image to the communities we visit.
The many challenging conditions and unique cases presented by NEES@UTexas research must be managed in a safe and effective manner if we are able to fulfill NEES research goals. Any incident involving equipment damage, property damage, or personnel injury or loss of life can prevent project completion; affect community goodwill; interfere with our ability to conduct research as an organization; and damage the image and reputations of the researchers, personnel and institutions involved.
The fundamental operating principle for an organization capable of fulfilling our difficult mission is an uncompromising commitment to safety. The policies and procedures detailed in this documentation represent not only applicable federal and local legal requirements for workplace safety, but also the collective experience and understanding of our diligent team of professionals as relating to the maintenance of a safe and effective research environment. Personnel and other participants in NEES@UTexas operations are expected to maintain familiarity with this material, to abide by its specific policies, and to apply our central doctrine of safety to every field of work-related activity, at all times.