North America EHS Standards Committee Formalizes Discussions on Seismic Protection and Hazardous Energy Control Isolation Devices

North America EHS Standards Committee Formalizes Discussions on Seismic Protection and Hazardous Energy Control Isolation Devices

By Paul Trio, SEMI

At the North America (NA) Standards meetings held during SEMICON West 2013, the NA EHS Committee approved two new task forces related to seismic protection and hazardous energy control isolation devices.

Hazardous Energy Control Isolation Devices Task Force

The Hazardous Energy Control Isolation Devices Task Force was chartered to provide proposed language or definition of hazardous energy control devices in SEMI S2 (Environmental, Health, and Safety Guideline for Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment) that conforms to international standards. The task force (TF) will review existing international standards requirements to determine an industry acceptable definition or set of requirements for hazardous energy control devices.  Based on the research of international standards, the TF will provide proposed language or definition of acceptable hazardous energy control devices that would be used in SEMI S2.

North America EHS Seismic Liaison Task Force

In 2011, the Taiwan and Japan EHS Standards Committees agreed to work together to revise the seismic protection section in SEMI S2, which have not been revised for a long period of time, as both countries experienced massive earthquakes in the past. Initially established as a working group, the Japan Seismic Protection Task force was officially formed in early 2012. The TF provides a forum where members can discuss new issues, as well as changes to existing issues, related to earthquake safety that arise from the increasing size of manufacturing systems in semiconductor and flat panel display (FPD) industries.  This task force supports the SEMI Standards Program activities related to earthquake safety.

At SEMICON Japan 2012 (December), the Japan EHS Committee authorized SNARF # 5556 as submitted by the Japan Seismic Protection Task Force, to propose  related revisions to the seismic protection section in SEMI S2. This activity would focus on design load based on the latest related Standards for seismic protection.

The North America EHS Seismic Liaison Task Force was chartered at SEMICON West 2013 (July) to liaise with the Japan Seismic Protection Task Force to help ensure North American membership concerns, information and experience are considered in, and to generally contribute to, the development of resulting standards or standard change proposals by the related Japan TF. Liaison efforts include meetings, emails, and teleconferences as needed to communicate effectively with the Japan task force, and ballots as needed to revise particularly S2 or create a new related standard.

Other Approved NA EHS Standards Activities at SEMICON West 2013


The NA EHS Standards Committee also approved the formation of the S1 Revision Task Force to prepare revision ballot(s) to improve SEMI S1 (Safety Guideline for Equipment Safety Labels). 

As part of the five-year mandatory review process, a reapproval ballot (#5521) for S1 was issued earlier this year where a number of negative and comments was received. The S1 Revision TF was formed to address these industry inputs.


The S2 Chemical Exposure TF will also be working on changes related to representative sampling (SNARF #5624)  SEMI S2 currently does not include any guidance to define what representative conditions are required when conducting industrial hygiene (IH) air sampling to determine conformance to OEL (occupational exposure limits) / LFL (lower flammability limit) levels.   This issue is increasing in significance as opportunities to establish representative conditions at equipment supplier facilities in order to perform baseline air sampling are more and more difficult. This activity may entail adding a section to S2, § 23 and/or possibly developing an Appendix.  Finally, this effort may affect SEMI S3, S6, S18, and S25 and, therefore, related changes may also be included in the ballot proposal.

Meanwhile, the S2 Non-Ionizing Task Force will be focusing its efforts on changes related to comparative limits. This activity (SNARF #5625) aims to better explain the rationale for the new levels that were introduced from the recent set of revisions to the optical radiation criteria.

Also, the current work of the S8 Ergonomics TF’s revision to SEMI S8 (Safety Guidelines for Ergonomics Engineering of Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment) was expanded to include S2 revision for the removal of Related Information 3 related to EMO Reach.

Other existing S2 revision-related activities include: chemical exposure (clarification of § 23.5 text to select sampling method and use of accredited lab), definitions and use of the terms “fail-safe” and “fault-tolerant,” fire code criteria, and EU Machinery Directive mapping.

For more details about the committee meeting at SEMICON West 2013, the minutes are available from the SEMI website.



North America Standards Fall 2013 Meetings

The NA EHS Standards committee and its task forces will meet on October 28-31 in conjunction with the NA Standards Fall 2013 meetings in San Jose, California. For more information and to register for these meetings, please visit the SEMI Standards website.

For more information or to participate in any SEMI EHS Standards activities, please contact Paul Trio (

SEMI NA Fall meetings

SEMI Standards Watch, October 2013