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APPENDIX A

Architect of the Capitol

Initiatives in Fire, Occupational, and Environmental Safety
Fiscal Year 2002

House Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations

Executive Summary

The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has made safety the agency's number one priority. In the past year, the AOC has undertaken significant steps to strengthen the fire, occupational and environmental safety programs. However, much work remains to be done. An additional thirteen (13) FY02 positions are requested and are in the process of being filled now to better enable the AOC to develop and implement fire, occupational, and environmental safety programs and make necessary facility upgrades to comply with fire and building codes.

In FY02, thirty (30) projects totaling over $14.5M are requested under the Life Safety Category to address identified fire and/or occupational safety deficiencies across the Capitol Complex. An additional $362K is being requested (see: Capitol Buildings Salaries and Expenses Operating Budget Life Safety Operations and Maintenance section) to cover needed environmental contractor services as well as increases in cost of fire safety and occupational safety and health program management.

I. Fire Safety

The Fire Marshal Division was created in FY01 to focus on fire safety, life safety, and emergency preparedness program policy, coordination, inspection, and oversight. Fire protection engineering design responsibilities are being transferred to the re-established Fire Protection Engineering Division under the Director of Engineering. The AOC is working closely with the Office of Compliance to identify fire and building code concerns and raise the Capitol complex buildings to modern standards of safety.

Significant progress has been made and is detailed in Section I.

As part of our continuing commitment to fire safety program needs, the AOC has begun hiring to fill FY02 funded vacancies to ensure adequate staff is available to perform needed work. Full funding of fire related FY02 requests is essential to the AOC's ability to continue to improve the fire safety posture and programs across the Capitol complex.

II. Occupational Health and Safety

The Life Safety Division was restructured and renamed the Safety and Environmental Division in FY01 to focus on occupational health and safety, recycling, and environmental program policy, coordination, inspection, and oversight. When fully staffed, two branches will exist - the Safety and Occupational Health Branch and the Environmental Branch.

Environmental Safety is discussed in Section IV below.

Significant progress has been made and is detailed in Section II.

As part of our continuing commitment to occupational safety program needs, the AOC has begun hiring to fill FY02 funded vacancies to ensure adequate staff is available to perform needed work. Full funding of FY02 requests is essential to the AOC's ability to continue to improve the occupational safety posture and programs across the Capitol complex.

III. Recycling

Additional emphasis was provided to the AOC Recycling program in FY01 by creation of a GS-13 Recycling Program Manager position to coordinate campus wide recycling effort. The House Office Buildings recycling program has made significant improvements including hiring a Recycling Program Manager, a Recycling Assistant and a recycling team. New recycling containers are being distributed to Members offices and training is being provided. The Senate recycling program has made significant improvements as well including hiring a Recycling Program Manager and working with the Senate Rules Committee on proposed changes. More information can be found in Section III.

IV. Environmental Safety

The AOC is required to comply with Environmental Protection Agency Laws and Statutes as enforced by the District of Columbia. The development of the Environmental program and the analysis and survey requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency and District of Columbia laws and regulations has not begun due to difficulties filling the environmental engineer vacancy. Filling of the environmental engineer position remains a top priority as attention must be given to environmental matters. Additional contractor support money has been requested to begin the detailed program review and development associated with all aspects of the Environmental Program. Full funding is requested to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. A more detailed discussion can be found in Section IV.

V. Summary

A brief summary is provided in Section V.

APPENDIX A

Architect of the Capitol

Initiatives in Fire, Occupational, and Environmental Safety
Fiscal Year 2002

House Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations

Introduction

The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has made safety his number one priority. In the past year, the AOC has undertaken significant steps to strengthen the fire, occupational and environmental safety programs. The AOC has reorganized the Executive Office for Facilities Management to allow increased attention and focus on fire safety, life safety, occupational health and safety, recycling, and environmental programs. Two separate Divisions have been created under the Executive Officer for Facilities Management.

The Fire Marshall Division focuses on fire safety, life safety, and emergency preparedness program policy, coordination, inspection, and oversight.

The Safety and Environmental Division focuses on occupational health and safety, recycling, and environmental program policy, coordination, inspection, and oversight.

Fire protection engineering design responsibilities have transferred to the re-established Fire Protection Engineering Division under the Director of Engineering.

This structure separates policy, oversight, and inspection from design and implementation- providing a necessary check and balance system and allowing concentration on project design and execution.

Agency wide, significant resources have been applied to the fire safety, occupational health and safety programs. The AOC has aggressively addressed fire safety concerns by dedicating resources to design of systems, correction of specific deficiencies, renovation and construction projects, and implementing National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) testing, inspection and maintenance programs. In many cases, jurisdictions have redirected resources from customer service to address fire safety issues, as a result, customer service has suffered temporarily. FY02 will see continued emphasis on fire safety as well as increased emphasis on occupational safety and environmental program implementation which will further strain limited existing resources.

Because safety is the AOC's top priority, the AOC is hiring now to fill FY02 safety related vacancies within Fire Marshal and Safety and Environmental Divisions and across the jurisdictions. By achieving FY02 staffing levels as soon as possible, the AOC will be better able to identify, address, and correct safety related concerns as well as implement new safety related programs across the Capitol complex.

Thirteen (13) FY02 positions (9 jurisdictional, 3 within the Fire Marshal Division and one in the Safety and Environmental Division) are being filled to better enable the AOC to develop and implement fire, occupational, and environmental safety programs and make necessary facility upgrades to comply with fire and building codes.

In FY02, thirty (30) projects totaling over $14.5M are requested under the Life Safety Category to address identified fire and/or occupational safety deficiencies across the Capitol complex. An additional $362K is being requested (see: Capitol Buildings Salaries and Expenses Operating Budget Life Safety Operations and Maintenance section) to cover needed environmental contractor services as well as increases in cost of fire safety and occupational safety and health program management.

I. Fire Safety

The goals of the Fire Safety Program are to: (1) provide a fire safe environment for workers and visitors to the US Capitol complex; (2) comply with BOCA 1999 and NFPA-101, 2000 Life Safety Codes wherever possible, addressing specific historic issues by developing performance based equivalencies when appropriate; and, (3) develop a complex-wide emergency preparedness program in conjunction with the Capitol Police and the District of Columbia.

Fire safety combines the aspects of prevention - minimizing clutter, properly storing flammable materials, controlling flame and heat producing devices, etc. - with protection - fire detection, fire suppression, and egress.

The historic nature of many of the Capitol complex buildings creates unique challenges in complying with modern building and fire codes. The AOC has met these challenges aggressively and undertaken extensive projects to bring our historic buildings into compliance with the most current codes. The effort of meeting modern codes, not required by the codes themselves unless major renovation is performed, demonstrates Congress' leadership and commitment to fire safety. The more significant projects will take years to complete because they require creative design solutions and major building renovations. The vast majority of this work has been contracted. The AOC has established an Indefinite Duration Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with four fire protection engineering consultant and design firms. As requirements are identified, specific task orders for consultation and design are written and issued quickly, avoiding lengthy individual contracting efforts. Although significant progress bas been made, the amount of contract administration, design review, building and fire code analysis, jurisdictional and customer coordination, construction oversight, and debugging is overwhelming to the AOC's limited staff. These aspects of work cannot be contracted. Additionally, fire alarm systems must be tested on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual basis. All office moves, special events, modifications, and renovation projects must be reviewed for fire and building code compliance and a rigorous inspection and oversight process developed to ensure the progress we are making is not lost as future modifications and

The AOC also is requesting a new emergency preparedness coordinator. This function is currently performed as a collateral duty of the fire marshal and requires a dedicated effort to establish an AOC-wide program to ensure we are able to respond to emergencies and to coordinate with the US Capitol Police and the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

Significant Capitol complex-wide accomplishments in the past year include:

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NFPA compliant test, inspection, and maintenance program for sprinkler and alarm systems implemented.

Regular DC Fire & EMS Department pre-planning tours conducted.

ADA fire alarm system upgrades designs completed.

Egress studies completed for each building.

General fire protection system description reports completed for each building. Lighted exit signs installed in public areas of all buildings (except isolated areas of Capitol with architectural and/or access issues).

Fire pull stations and alarm speakers operational.

Fire safety master plan under development.

IDIQ contract for fire protection engineering support awarded.

Complex-wide Central Fire Protection Monitoring System in design (50%)
Task orders for egress improvement designs issued.

Y2K fire alarm system upgrades complete.

And, increased emphasis and attention to fire safety related maintenance
including correction of numerous deficiencies.

Other significant jurisdiction specific progress can be found in attachment 1.

II. Occupational Health and Safety

The goals of the Occupational Health and Safety program are to: (1) provide a safe and healthful environment for workers and visitors to the US Capitol complex, (2) comply with OSHA standards as required by the Congressional Accountability Act, and (3) standardize safety program implementation wherever possible.

To meet these goals, forty-one (41) safety programs must be revised or developed, approved, and implemented. The development and implementation of these programs began in FY01 and will continue through FY04. The AOC has contracted with the Public Health Service to draft AOC-wide safety program policies. This effort includes research of regulations, drafting of policy, review of proposed policy within the AOC, determining applicability of program policies to each work site, and identification and resolution of issues. As program policies are drafted, implementation needs will be determined for each program. Decisions will be made regarding program applicability (employees, work sites, and work practices) within each jurisdiction, training needs will be identified, work site specific operating procedures will be developed and record-keeping processes will be implemented. Implementation will also include identification of facilitators (e.g. supporting software) and procurement of equipment as needed.

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