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In this issue:
Inside the Plating Shop's Wastewater Treatment Plant
Safety Today: Hoisting and Rigging
In Memoriam: Simon Peter Rosen
Experimental Seminar: Omega-Minus Spin
Safety Second

SLAC Today

Tuesday - October 17, 2006

Inside the Plating Shop's Wastewater Treatment Plant

Ali Farvid and Plant Operator Oscar Zelaya stand at the control panel of the water treatment plant's two neutralization tanks. (Click on image for larger version.)

On any given day, the shelves and worktables of SLAC's Plating Shop are lined with pieces of metal—from thumb-sized stainless steel pipes, to rectangular lengths of copper, to titanium jaws—all destined for duty somewhere in the SLAC lab. "About 90 percent of the equipment used at SLAC comes through our shop," says Ali Farvid, Metal Finishing Supervisor. The shop prepares the metal parts for use by cleaning, plating, or otherwise modifying them.

But along with useful equipment, the shop's processes produce wastewater that is acidic or alkaline and contains small amounts of dissolved metals such as iron, copper, nickel or silver. Regulations prohibit this wastewater from being released directly into the environment. Instead, it is diverted to an unremarkable-looking system of pipes and tanks adjacent to the shop. The system, however, isn't unremarkable: it is the Plating Shop's award-winning wastewater treatment plant.

(Column - Safety Today)

Lessons Learned in a Hoist Cable Failure

At the Department of Energy Savannah River Site (SRS), workers learned the importance of following procedures and doing pre-operational visual inspections. On August 22, 2006, while using a truck-mounted crane to lower a 100 pound sample load into a transportation drum, the wire rope failed, dropping the load approximately 6 inches.

Although this accident caused no injuries and left the sample intact, the accident was potentially preventable. SRS is taking the following corrective actions:

- Procedures will now require the visual inspection of the crane and wire rope, and will not allow contact between the downfall weight and boom tip.

- Wire rope will be marked to indicate maximum height that loads can be lifted.

- A method will be developed to secure the hook to the truck when it is being stored for transport (as opposed to having the downfall weight close to boom tip).

- The AHA process for incidental rigging operations will also be strengthened.

SLAC personnel, particularly those who work with hoisting and rigging, are asked to consider this incident when going about their work at SLAC.

A description of this incident and many others can be found at the ES&H Lessons Learned website.

In Memoriam:
Simon Peter Rosen

(Image - Peter Rosen)Simon Peter Rosen, a leading theorist in elementary particle physics, an international authority on neutrino physics and a director of major high energy and nuclear physics programs at the Department of Energy (DOE), died on October 13, 2006 at his home in Rockville, Maryland, after a courageous three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73.  Read more...

Experimental Seminar: Omega-Minus Spin

For more than 40 years, physicists have accepted that the spin of the omega-minus particle is three halves, although this has never been established... until now. At today's experimental seminar, BaBar collaborator Veronique Ziegler will present her work on omega-minus spin and on cascade resonances.

"I'm excited to be presenting this work to my colleagues and the greater SLAC community," says Zeigler. "These particles are extremely rare, but thanks to the enormous amount and quality of data BaBar has produced, we were able to carry out this analysis." The results of the omega spin work were published in the September 15 issue of Physical Review Letters. The seminar will be held in the Orange Room at 12:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Safety Seconds

In yesterday's edition, I noted that people who survive major heart attacks often re-start their lives with a dramatically different perspective.

Since workplace injuries statistically happen so infrequently, we depend on people to change their behavior before they are injured. I urge you to do that now, and not wait for the workplace equivalent of a heart attack.

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