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New ES&H Policy and ALD Commitments to Safety

(SLAC ES&H Policy)Last month, Lab Director Persis Drell signed a new Environmental, Safety, and Health Policy. At the same time, all six Associate Laboratory Directors (ALDs) signed individual Environment Safety and Health Commitments. These documents emphasize SLAC's commitment to protecting the environment and the health and safety of everyone on site. They also address the ways in which employees and managers will work together to ensure safety.

"We are moving forward with the goal of dramatically improving safety at SLAC," said Drell. "I know we are making progress because of what I see and what I hear from people throughout the organization. A healthy conversation about safety is emerging, indicating a change in the air. We are going through—and will continue to go through—some growing pains, but dramatic ES&H performance improvement is a journey. We are all taking the journey together."

In this fiscal year, 17 people have been hurt at SLAC, 12 so severely that they had to miss work. In addition, there have been many events which could have resulted in injury or insult to the environment and which did result in equipment damage or necessitated the redirection of resources to address the issues. By going back to the fundamentals of the Integrated Safety and Environmental Management System (ISEMS), and thinking about tasks ahead of time, everyone can be a leader in environmental stewardship and can help SLAC be an injury-free work environment.

"With the recognition of safety as a core value of the institution and the individual commitments we are articulating, upper management shows its dedication to safety and the environment," Drell said. But the upper management cannot do it alone, she continued. "I want everyone to know that if, at any time, they feel unsafe or see imminent danger at the laboratory, they have the authority and responsibility to stop work and go to their supervisors, the ES&H division, the ALDs or even to me. Together we will find a way to mitigate the danger."

The new ES&H Policy was posted throughout laboratory buildings yesterday, and the ALD ES&H Commitments can be found on the Director's Office webpage. SLAC personnel are encouraged to contact their supervisors and ALDs if they have questions about these documents.

"We're turning the corner on our safety culture here, and we need everybody to be engaged," said ES&H Director Craig Ferguson. "The senior management is firmly committed to sending every person home injury-free at the end of the day. But this only works if we're all in this together as one lab."

Drell added: "We want an injury-free workplace and we want to have the best environmental standards we can. It's that simple."

Kelen Tuttle, SLAC Today, July 16, 2008

Above image: SLAC's new ES&H Policy. (Click on image to enlarge.)