Adapted Method for Organizing Safety Assessments on Large Semiconductor Equipment & Systems

Frankfurth, Mark S.; Krauss, Mark A.
(Cymer Inc., San Diego, CA and EHS2 LLC, San Bruno, CA)

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This paper and presentation discuss an effective method of assessing and documenting the safety issues in a large piece of equipment, an integrated system, or a process area. Often during the development of prototype tools and initial installation of systems the “roadmaps & signposts” used to identify components, wires, hoses, and parts have not yet been established or marked. This makes describing the location, nature, and impact of safety isses very difficult for evaluators. Using a scalable topologic grid to identify the location of a potential problem provides the needed references, and provides a starting-point for listing and organizing potentially numerous issues. This is taking a lesson from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident investigation methods where debris is mapped to determine the causes of a disaster, but instead moving the approach to be preventative rather than reactive. In this way potential accident causes can be thoroughly identified and documented. Side benefits of this method include limiting distraction by concentrating on one physical area at a time, and greater flexibility in describing potential risks and hazards in the terms of the safety evaluator rather instead of the terms of the designers. This is especially beneficial in an outsourced design/build/installation model. This method has been used successfully on large industrial laser development programs and installations for the semiconductor industry, and the paper will relate pros, cons, and lessons learned from the approach.

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