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In this issue:
The Challenger
People Today: David Bostic
Safety Review: Developing and Implementing Hazard Controls

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 30, 2008

Rich Torres stands by the Challenger.
(Click for larger image.)

The Challenger

Life at SLAC is fast-paced, and projects like the Linac Coherent Light Source are constantly adapting existing technology to new uses. However, two of SLAC’s large machines have filled the same roles for a combined 60 years, providing a strong, reliable backbone for the lab’s continuing growth and development.

Those two machines are forklifts, which SLAC’s rigging department uses to lift and transport objects weighing up to 40 tons. The newer of the two, a 104,000-pound Hyster Challenger, has been at SLAC for 18 years. It serves primarily to move massive concrete shielding blocks and large, powerful electromagnets. The Challenger is 25 feet long and more than 23 feet tall with its forks extended, and stays in the beam switch yard near Building 9 when not in use.

The other forklift has been at SLAC since 1966. At 36 feet long and an astonishing 135,000 pounds, this lift was custom-built for the lab by the LeTourneau company. Since then, the forklift has played a part in the construction of most large structures on campus. (See also "The Green Meanie.")

Recent developments at SLAC will require plenty of support from both massive machines. “We haven’t had to use them as much recently, but the construction of the LCLS will probably change that,” said rigging crewmember Rich Torres, who has also been at SLAC since 1966. Torres also expects to need one of the big machines to remove a large magnet from the BaBar facility in September.

Shielding blocks and 40-ton magnets are not the only important parts of SLAC that the LeTourneau has transported. Torres once gave former director Jonathan Dorfan a ride on the massive vehicle when Dorfan was a graduate student. Although they may be too busy to carry many potential laboratory directors in the future, SLAC’s forklifts will still play an important part in the lab’s growth for many years to come.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

David Bostic

Shirley and David Bostic hold two of the 98 infants they have foster-parented. (Photo courtesy of David Bostic.)

David Bostic has awakened to the cries of a newborn baby every night—for the past 38 years.

Bostic and his wife, Shirley, are registered foster parents who care for babies born to drug-addicted mothers. In 38 years they've cared for 98 infants. Bostic has wallet sized photos of all of them. "We're addicted to babies and we don’t know how to stop!" he jokes. "I know more about the inside workings of a diaper than any man I've met."

Most of the infants stay with the Bostics for only three to six months, but some have stayed for as long as a year or two. They have had as many as three babies in their home at one time, but Bostic notes, "We try to stop when they start to out-number us."

The Bostics are members of the Foster Parent Association, specializing in medically fragile infants. The babies often test positive for drugs or are born addicted to drugs, and have special medical needs such as cardiac monitors or tube feedings. There are eight other foster homes in the area that specialize in medically fragile infants; the Bostics share baby-sitting duties with these homes if they ever want a night to themselves.

Bostic and his wife, who stays home with the infants full-time, raise the babies until they are adopted or their mothers can care for them. "I really like to see the babies go back to their mothers," says Bostic, "but I would say about half of the babies we've cared for have been adopted."

The Bostics took in their first foster child in 1970, when their own children were just three and five. Bostic says that over the years, his son and daughter have appreciated the experience. The family is still in touch with the first child they cared for: she was adopted and now has children of her own, who Bostic calls his foster grandchildren. They have stayed in touch with a handful of the babies they cared for.

"It's a ministry, it's part of our faith," says Bostic, who attends Menlo Park Presbyterian church. "And I've always had a liking for kids. We just love having them." He says it's hard to let each baby go, even when he knows another will be coming to fill the nest. "So the last one will be the hardest," he says with a smile.

Bostic will retire from SLAC this year. He and his wife are taking a month-long vacation soon. But, he says, they have no intention of stopping their foster care anytime soon.

For more information on volunteering to help foster children in the Santa Clara area, visit the Help One Child organization Web site.

Safety Review: Developing and Implementing
Hazard Controls

This article is the third in a five-part series examining each of the five core functions of SLAC's Integrated Safety Management System. The core functions are hands-on tools to help you plan and conduct work in a safe manner. Their relationships are depicted in this handy diagram:

Click for larger image.

Development and implementation of hazard controls for job activities is the third core function in the ISMS safe work cycle. It builds on the strengths of the first two core functions, Defining Scope and Analyzing Hazards, covered earlier this week. 

Continuing with the example of the work task "welding a girder," the next step is to identify controls that can be applied to minimize risk—that is, to lower potential for harm to a safe and manageable level. As when identifying risks, step back to see the whole task environment. Think of measures that can be used to minimize risk to yourself, others, the facility and the public. Examples include:

• protective clothing and a welding mask to shield your skin and eyes from sparks and ultraviolet radiation
• respirators to prevent inhalation of metal fumes
• a welding device that can be held and maneuvered comfortably
• a nearby colleague serving as a "fire watch"
• a work area with fire-resistant nearby surfaces
• a ventilation system to carry away smoke
• effluent collection systems to trap and contain any hazardous materials

Next, before starting the job, install and practice using these controls to ensure that they will work well, both individually and together. A dry run is an excellent way to put the selected controls to the test. 

Supervisors, please discuss this core function with your team members. Ask them to choose an example job, run it through the first two core functions, then suggest controls to minimize health, safety and facility risks. This will be another important step toward leading everyone at SLAC to think of safety as an integral part of the work day.

Tomorrow's article will discuss the fourth core function, "Performing Work Within Controls."

See the ISEMS Web site for more helpful hints. Please call Steve Frey (x3839) if you have any questions.

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