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In this issue:
SLAC Public Lecture: The Mysteries of Diamonds
Safety Today: Reducing Workplace Injuries
SULI Students Arrive
SLAC Offers Voice Recognition Software

SLAC Today

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

SLAC Public Lecture: The Mysteries of Diamonds

Diamonds have been a prized material throughout history. Wars have been fought over these scarce and beautiful gemstones, and throughout the centuries they have remained a symbol of wealth and power. Diamonds also have exceptional physical properties which can lead to unique applications in science.

In this evening's public lecture, The Mysteries of Diamonds: Bizarre History, Amazing Properties, Unique Applications, Ohio State University Professor Harris Kagan will discuss current techniques to artificially synthesize diamonds of extraordinarily high quality and how these diamonds can be used for 21st century science.

The lecture takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Panofsky Auditorium.  All are invited to attend.  Learn more...

(Column - Safety Today)

Reducing Workplace Injuries

According to an article about workplace injuries in a recent issue of the Supervisor's Guide to Employment Practices, researchers have found evidence that physically active people are less likely to suffer from the effects of job-related Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). The findings were based on research conducted by a Canadian team at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Nearly 60,000 full-time workers, ranging in age from 15 to 74, were surveyed.

The researchers surmised that regular exercise may help reduce the incidences of RSIs by building physical strength, endurance, flexibility and better coordination Regular exercise may also reduce tension, which can be a factor in developing RSIs. Also noted in the study:

• Upper-body RSIs accounted for 63 percent of those reported.
• Such factors as stress, obesity, physically demanding work and even smoking were associated with higher rates of RSIs.
• Women tended to be at higher risk than men.
• Rates were also higher among those between ages 30 and 49, and tended to drop among those over age 50.

At SLAC, our experience has been that we have few RSI injuries, but overexertion injuries (e.g., strains, sprains) continue to be one of our leading types of workplace injuries. For the same reasons that regular exercise helps reduce the incidence of RSIs, it would be expected to reduce the risk of other ergonomic injuries. In addition, proper work planning (e.g., evaluating the hazard and determining the safe way to handle materials) will also greatly help to reduce the risk of injury. If you have a question or need advice on evaluating the ergonomic risks and controls for the work you do, please contact the ES&H Service Desk (x4554).

Stanford's Health Improvement Program (HIP) offers classes to encourage employees to become more physically active. Classes for the summer quarter begin this week, and it's not too late to sign up.  Read more...

SULI Students Arrive

(Photo - SULI students)
SULI students arrived at SLAC yesterday for their first day of orientation. (Click on image for larger version.)

Yesterday was the first day of the 2008 Department of Energy Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program (SULI). The 23 students from around the country will be working under SLAC mentors for eight weeks, while living in dorms on the Stanford campus.

This year students will be working on projects in engineering, physics, astrophysics, accelerator physics and communications.

Arriving student Ian Bullock from Harvey Mudd college says he chose to do the SULI program instead of a research program at his own school. "I go to a small school that doesn't have a large endowment, so I wanted to go somewhere that had better resources and an established program."

The SULI program began over 35 years ago to give undergraduate students the chance to work in science laboratories before they might normally get to work in one. At the end of the summer, each student is required to write a paper and make a presentation about his or her research results. The program takes place at several Department of Energy facilities.


SLAC Offers Voice Recognition Software

Voice recognition software is an alternative to typing on a keyboard. The software allows a user to dictate and edit text in most programs. In addition, it also allows a user to control the desktop or applications through speech. Voice recognition software can create a healthier and safer workplace, and can reduce fatigue, discomfort and risk of injury such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

For more information regarding Voice Recognition Software, please contact Sharon Haynes (x4533).


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