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In this issue:
Deputy Secretary of Energy Visits SLAC
Safety Today: What Use Are Breaker Panel Labels?
symmetry magazine: Signs of the Times
Electrical Safety Tip: Why Cotton?

SLAC Today

Tuesday - May 16, 2006

Clay Sell (third from left) at the Overlook with Keith Hodgson, Nancy Sanchez, John Galayda, Jonathan Dorfan, and Jeff Logan.  (Click on image for larger version.)

Deputy Secretary of Energy Visits SLAC

It was SLAC's great privilege and pleasure to host Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell on May 15. The Deputy Secretary met with senior management, researchers and members from the Stanford Site Office as he toured the facilities.

After a brief welcome and overview of SLAC by Jonathan Dorfan and a discussion about safety at the lab, the Deputy Secretary took a brisk tour of the site. From the overlook, he was able to grasp the extent and footprint of the laboratory and its relationship to the main Stanford campus.  Read more...

(Column - Safety Today)

What Use Are Breaker Panel Labels?


There was a serious electrical arc flash accident at SLAC in 2004, and another recently at Brookhaven National Laboratories (BNL). Both accidents involved injuries which would have been significantly less severe if correct warning labels had been posted and the workers had worn the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Consequently, labels on breaker panels are appearing all over SLAC.

The labels on breaker panels, disconnect switches, industrial control panels and motor control centers warn of potential shock and arc flash hazards. This equipment should only be used by a person who is knowledgeable of equipment powered by an electric panel or switch, has received safety training on shock and arc flash hazards, and has the approval of his or her supervisor and possibly area managers for breaker or disconnect switch operation.

An electric arc flash can cause very serious injuries. To help reduce potential injury it is imperative that the Flash Protection Boundary (FPB) be observed and the correct PPE be worn when operating breakers and disconnects switches. Note that no breaker can be operated at SLAC without the use of safety glasses.

See explanations of the different types of electrical panel warning labels here.

symmetry magazine:
Signs of the Times

(Photo - Whiteboard)

Small whiteboards, hung on office doors, and ubiquitous bicycle helmets are signposts for the interactive, fluid nature of current endeavors at SLAC.

The whiteboard on Phil Bucksbaum's door has a hand-drawn calendar, titled "Days I am at SLAC." Bucksbaum is the director of the new Photon Ultrafast Laser Science and Engineering (PULSE) center, a collaboration between SLAC and Stanford University. For the spring semester, he's splitting his time between the lab and campus, and the University of Michigan, where he is wrapping up his professorial teaching duties.

Down the hallway, another whiteboard proclaims its owner "on campus." This building houses faculty of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, part of SLAC. Many SSRL professors hold joint faculty appointments at Stanford. If Stanford is land and SSRL water, their graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are amphibians.  

The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) is another relatively new SLAC-Stanford joint venture. Scientists frequently bicycle between office and lab space at SLAC and on the Stanford campus, building formidable leg muscles during the uphill ride. The flow between campus and lab is so frequent that individual whiteboards would not do the trick, says KIPAC administrator Martha Siegel, although group members do note their travel dates on a large whiteboard in the hall. Read more in symmetry...

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