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December 18, 2007
    Christmas Tree Fire Hazard
Many people purchase cut evergreen trees during the holiday season. Well-watered trees are quite safe; however, a tree that is allowed to dry out in your home becomes a severe fire hazard.

December 11, 2007
    In Case of Emergency
When paramedics arrive on the scene of a serious accident, they are sometimes unable to communicate with unconscious victims.

December 4, 2007
    Holiday Fire Safety Information
Taking a few extra precautions this holiday season can prevent serious emergencies.


November 27, 2007
    Traffic at the Main Gate
The traffic regulations in place at the Main Gate are intended to allow for the smooth flow of traffic into and out of the SLAC site. Please be careful as you make your way though the Main Gate and be sure to follow the posted regulations.

November 20, 2007
    Holiday Safety
This special time of year carries with it some special hazards. As you plan your holiday activities, keep a few precautions in mind so your memories can be good ones.

November 13, 2007
    Electrical Safety Training Improvements
On October 11th, 2004, there was a terrible electrical accident at SLAC that resulted in a major investigation by the Department of Energy (DOE) and effectively shut the lab down for six months. New training requirements to reduce the risk of electrical accidents were quickly put into place and two courses became required for almost everyone working at SLAC.

November 7, 2007
    Earthquake Safety
The Bay Area was shaken last Tuesday night with a 5.6 magnitude earthquake, centered in Alum Rock. Fortunately, there was minimal damage and no reports of injuries.


October 31, 2007
    Safety Success Story: LAT Integration
The primary instrument for the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission, the Large Area Telescope (LAT), will detect gamma rays with unprecedented sensitivity, offering exceptional insight into the nature of dark matter, stellar evolution and black holes.

October 23, 2007
    Stressed Out? Stress Affects Both Body and Mind
The more we understand how stress affects us, the more we learn about how to cope better.

October 16, 2007
    Preparing for the Rainy Season and Stormwater
As we enter autumn, the rainy season will soon be upon us. Nearly all the rain that falls at SLAC finds its way into San Francisquito Creek and eventually into the San Francisco Bay.

October 10, 2007
    Fire Marshal Robert Reek to Retire
SLAC will soon say farewell to its fire marshal of nine years, Robert Reek.

October 2, 2007
    A Hot Topic
Even though cooler weather is quickly approaching, a few very warm days still remain ahead. Keeping cool while working in the heat requires taking special precaution to prevent heat stress illness.


September 27, 2007
    LCLS Injector Installation: Planning for Success Leads to Success
When it comes to ensuring the safety and success of complex projects such as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) injector installation, thorough planning before the project even starts can make all the difference. This month, SAFE07 focuses on how exceptional preplanning and communication have made the LCLS injector project a benchmark of safety success at SLAC.

September 4, 2007
    Become a Partner in Your Health Care
Many people go to the doctor ready to just listen and let the doctor take the lead. But the best patient-doctor relationships are partnerships.


August 28, 2007
    Safety Success Story: "We Got Safety in the Bag"
Where there's thoughtful communication and collaboration about safety, there's often a safety success story.

August 27 & 28, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
When a momentous disaster strikes, commentators later often ask "Do you remember what you were doing when you heard...?"

August 21, 2007
    Maintaining Our Focus
SLAC's Focus on Safety Week may have happened in July, but the ideas generated in the week's safety meetings and brainstorming sessions carry over to every month of the year.

August 20 & 21, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
At SLAC, we have about two injuries a month, which translates to a Total Recordable Cases (TRC) rate of 1.3 for FY07.

August 14, 2007
    On-Site Fire Station to Support ALS Capabilities
The grounds of SLAC are about to become just a little bit safer. Later this month, the Palo Alto Fire Department (PAFD) will begin providing full paramedic capability at the on-site fire station and Advanced Life Support (ALS) capabilities on SLAC fire engines.

August 13 & 14, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Safety Firsts Pay! I received a note from one of our readers telling me that while staying in a fancy hotel in San Francisco, he noticed that the slippery shower floor was hazardous, and after mentioning it to the hotel, had the cost of one day dropped from his bill. (For a small donation we might provide the name of the hotel.)

August 7, 2007
    Protect Against Skin Cancer
With summer here, it's important to remember that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.

August 6 & 7, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
It would seem at first glance that medical errors have nothing to do with the kinds of injuries that we see at SLAC.


July 31, 2007
    JHAMs: It's All About the Details
Performing a thorough annual Job Hazard Analysis and Mitigation (JHAM) process is an important step toward increasing safety at SLAC.

July 30 & 31, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Most of us approach stairs or uneven surfaces many times a day, and don't think about the potential danger they present until we hear of someone else getting hurt.

July 24, 2007
    SAFE '07 Success Story: FFTB Preservation Project
SLAC's evolving research yard is a bustling place. Here, just beyond the beam switch yard, End Station A runs test beams, End Station B does research and development work for the International Linear Collider and advanced accelerators, experimental shops hum with activity, and other associated facilities support the lab's research programs. Last year, in the midst of all this activity, a team of SLAC employees, users and contractors completed the very complex Final Focus Test Beam (FFTB) Preservation Project, removing the installation to make way for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) Beam Transport Hall, without a single injury.

July 23 & 24, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
About a year ago, I was looking out the window of my United flight waiting to take off at San Francisco, and noticed a plane about to land on the runway that the air traffic control person had just told our pilots to cross.

July 17, 2007
    Focus on Safety
As announced in yesterday's Director's Column, this week brings 30-minute Focus on Safety training sessions to all employees and users at SLAC.

July 16 & 17, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
There is a class of hazard controls that does not normally get identified as such.

July 10, 2007
    Keeping SLAC's Water Clean
Water, water everywhere, but did you ever stop to think about where it goes and how we ensure that it is clean?

July 3, 2007
    E-Waste Recycling Tips
Today's electronic devices are a wonderful feat and use of technology, but have created a significant waste disposal problem: e-waste.


June 26, 2007
    Chemical Substitution Replaces Hexavalent Chromium Baths
It's not the emptying of any old tank, but the end of use of a toxic chemical. Recently, the SLAC Plating Shop ended its use of hexavalent chromium cleaning and dying baths and began using less hazardous chemical substitutes.

June 25 & 26, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
This is a test—when would you turn around and go back?

June 19, 2007
    Fire Safety at SLAC and Beyond
Cellular phone towers don't usually affect firefighting, but they did on May 19 when a grass fire broke out near Region 12 and the SLAC Garden area. When people passing by SLAC first reported the fire and dialed 911, their cell phones were routed to the San Mateo County Dispatch instead of the Palo Alto Dispatch, which is responsible for emergency calls from SLAC.

    Limited Recreational Access Along Linac
With the past week's sunny weather, SLAC security officers have received numerous reports of pedestrians walking on North Gallery Road past Sector 21-2.

June 18 & 19, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Much to the apparent distress of some of our SLAC pilots, I have mentioned over the last nine months several safety practices used in aviation to prevent accidents, all of them based on lessons-learned from crashes.

June 12, 2007
    SAFE '07 Success Story: Beamline 12
Last March, a new beam line opened at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), thanks to three years of work by the Beam Line Development Group and about 50 designers, technicians, physicists, electricians and construction workers. It was a complex task that was completed without incident due to a strong culture of safety.

June 11 & 12, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
It is said that a lobster in water that is heated slowly will never know it is being cooked.

June 5, 2007
    Ergonomics: Safe Material Handling
In March, the Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) Division launched the SAFE '07 Campaign with an online presentation on slips, trips and falls. Ergonomics: Safe Material Handling, the second presentation in this series, is now also available on the ES&H website.

June 4 & 5, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Most injuries at SLAC are from activities that we all engage in many times a day—walking around the site, going up or down stairs, or carrying or moving things.


May 29, 2007
    Honey Bee or Yellow Jacket?
Beware deer, ticks, snakes, skunks, bobcats, black widow spiders and feral cats, says the SLAC safety guide.

May 22, 2007
    Lab Adopts New Worker Safety and Health Plan
This week, the Department of Energy approved SLAC's new Worker Safety and Health Plan (WSHP), which adheres to new Federal laws.

May 21 & 22, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
As a tourist, if you go to Hawaii and watch local people go out to sea in small boats for either pleasure or commercial fishing, you may notice a hazard mitigation device on just about every boat that is quite surprising—surprising not only because of its prevalence (it seems that it must be required by law) but also because of its obvious great expense.

May 15, 2007
    SAFE '07 Success Story: 2006–2007 BaBar Upgrade Team
Last winter, the BaBar detector stopped humming for four months to undergo its most complex upgrade to date.

May 14 & 15, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
If you are a black belt and into breaking bricks and boards with your hand, or excel at g Tum-mo meditation, there is something fundamental that you need to do that is widely unappreciated.

May 8, 2007
    Safety Note: Wellness Fair Tomorrow
This year's Wellness Fair takes place tomorrow, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation on Stanford's main campus.

May 7 & 8, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Since we are all now adept at both recognizing and controlling hazards, if you were going to attempt something clearly established as very dangerous, possibly deadly, without bringing with you anything to help you cope with something going wrong, would you be willing to pay extra for a small "get out of jail" device that might keep you from being seriously injured or killed? How much would you be willing to pay?

May 1, 2007
    Safety Note: Hazardous Waste Drum Funnels
Many of us at SLAC transfer hazardous wastes—including paints, solvents, and oils—into drums as part of routine activities. On those drums, many use an in-place funnel, allowing liquid wastes to easily be poured in.

April 30 & May 1, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Southwest Airlines exclusively uses 737 aircraft because they make a large number of shorter flights, so take-offs and landings are frequent and routine. Flight 1248 while landing at Midway had their flight computer (OPC) tell them that they would stop with only 30 feet of runway remaining (it was snowy and icy with a 12 mph tail-wind), so they went for it. Seem like a good call?


April 24, 2007
    Earth Day
The Earth Day theme this year was A Call for Action on Climate Change.

April 23 & 24, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
We have a certain type of injury at SLAC that in almost every case has occurred while the injured party was wearing what they thought was the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the task they were performing.

April 17, 2007
    SAFE '07 Success Story: Ali Farvid's Plating Shop
SLAC's plating shop is a high-hazard area, with multi-gallon tanks of acid, bases, heavy metals, and even cyanide-rich liquids. Yet the shop has not had a single reportable safety incident since record keeping began.

April 16 & 17, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
NASA lost the Challenger space shuttle because they used the following logic: Q. Did the o-rings burn? A. Yes. Q. Did the shuttle blow-up? A. No. Okay, we're good to go.

April 10, 2007
    Tunneling Hazards
All SLAC employees are probably aware of the ongoing tunneling for the LCLS, which started two weeks ago behind the Collider Hall. Last week excavation progressed past 50 feet; daylight doesn't reach that far in, so crews have had to install supplemental lighting.

April 9 & 10, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
I have received complaints that I seem to be (unfairly) picking on airline pilots since I regularly feature mistakes they have made. This is in fact not the case; I cite pilot decisions because they are extremely well documented, and because pilot behaviors are the best illustration of the thinking that surrounds most of our injuries at SLAC.

April 3, 2007
    Reminder: Construction Sites Off Limits
Construction on the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) continues to gain momentum and the site along PEP Ring Road is active with heavy equipment. This construction site represents an extreme danger to anyone who is not directly involved in the project and unauthorized SLAC employees must stay away from the construction zones.

April 2 & 3, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Ed Viesturs, one of the few living mountain climbers in the world to have climbed all 14 peaks over 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) without using supplemental oxygen, is often called a risk-taker by the press.


March 27, 2007
    Computerized System to Keep Employees Safe
Until recently, SLAC's Personnel Protection System (PPS)—the devices that initiate a safety shutdown in the beamline—consisted of a very complex set of electromechanical relays and wires. The first computerized PPS using Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), designed by Control Safety Systems Engineers Patrick Bong and Joel Fitch, is now installed and running near the RF gun at the future Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).

March 26 & 27, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." Learning from history is not just having a recollection of what has already happened.

March 20, 2007
    Area Hazard Analyses
Do you know about Area Hazard Analyses at SLAC? Known as "AHAs," they are useful informational devices providing scope and details of potential safety hazards in each work area at SLAC.

March 19 & 20, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
All Air Force-trained pilots are taught to use a simple two-second safety check that could save them from crashing on take-off or landing.

March 13, 2007
    SAFE '07 Campaign
One of the fundamentals in preventing accidents is to increase awareness through communication and education. In addition to the articles you periodically see in SLAC Today, the ES&H Division is starting a new SAFE '07 Campaign.

March 6, 2007
    Staying Warm and Safe With Space Heaters
Although the weather is warming, it's important to remember space heater safety when staving off winter's lingering chill.

March 5 & 6, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
One of my many favorite Gary Larson cartoons has two pilots looking through their cockpit window at a mountain goat surrounded by clouds. "Say, what's a mountain goat doing way up here?" is the response of one pilot. How fast would you be in picking up such an obvious hazard clue in your work at SLAC or at home?


February 28, 2007
    Stormwater Regulation
The past few days have brought much rain to the SLAC site. In times of heavy downpour, the lab's stormwater drains take on an important role.

February 26 & 27, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
One of my children, to whom I would provide unwanted basketball advice, would say, "I'll run hard when it's important." My response of course was that you had to run hard all the time, since you could never tell in advance when it would be critical. Do any of you fall into this same trap with respect to safety?

February 12 & 13, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
We are probably overly-familiar with the many simple safety rules that apply to the activities we do on a daily basis—rules such as fastening seat belts, wearing goggles, and holding onto stair railings. Can you name one unique safety rule that if broken will almost certainly result in debilitating injuries or death? (It is sometimes called the 2:00 p.m. rule.)

February 13, 2007
    Shoulder the Pain
Baseball players aren't the only ones who suffer from shoulder injuries. Damaging your shoulders from every day tasks is easier than you might think.

February 6, 2007
    Distracted Driving: A Recipe for Disaster
A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that driver distraction is the leading cause of traffic accidents.

February 5 & 6, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
A report was recently issued on the tragic death of one of the most famous personalities in the modern world. Can you name the ignored safety practice that would have prevented this person from dying?


January 30, 2007
    EOESH and SON Training Now Online
Since last April, over three hundred and thirty five SLAC personnel have enjoyed the convenience of taking ES&H courses at their desk through our new web based training portal, SkillPort. We are happy to announce that we are adding two major courses to our web based library.

January 23, 2007
    Walking Safely
Stepping on a crack won't break your mother's back—but if you're not careful, it might break yours. We often forget that ever-lurking hazards, like stairs and uneven or slippery pavement, can cause serious injuries.

January 22, 2007
    Environmental Restoration Succeeding at SLAC
Under the oaks and winter green grass at SLAC, the earth is mostly bedrock. The groundwater moves slowly through this solid foundation. Thanks to the Environmental Restoration Group at SLAC, the groundwater is flowing cleaner, too.

January 16, 2007
    Lock Out Tag Out
Most SLAC employees need to be aware of the preventive Lockout/Tagout procedures in place to prevent accidents.

January 16, 2007
    SLAC Personnel Dosimetry Program Once Again Gets the Green Light
Last Wednesday, Acting Director Keith Hodgson accepted the DOE's Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP) certificate, which renews for two years the accreditation for SLAC's dosimetry program.

January 8 & 9, 2007
    Safety Firsts
    Safety Seconds
Polonium, which has been in the news lately, is an extraordinarily fierce emitter of radiation. It may be in the news less frequently, but smoking is another form of radiation exposure.

January 9, 2007
    Safety Training Updates
If the New Year brings renewed promises to replace cookies with rice cakes, there's no better time to reaffirm commitments to safety training.

January 2, 2007
    Construction Safety
As everyone slowly filters back into work, we find a lab under construction.

Office of Science/U.S. DOE