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  • Blog:
    Hero Card Raffle Winner Rachel Lance's Proactivity Rewarded

    One day Rachel Lance noticed that the floor of a heavily used elevator had developed a tripping hazard, so she reported it to a safety professional and it was promptly fixed. Several months later a colleague overheard her talk about that incident, just happened to remember the Hero Card in his wallet More>

     

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    Safety Culture Work Group Initiative: Temporary Safety Messages in Neon Chalk

    You may have noticed the temporary neon-colored safety messages popping up in high traffic areas. They are the invention of a Berkeley Lab Safety Culture Work Group subcommittee whose task it was to create awareness around slip, trip, and fall prevention. The stenciling campaign involved brainstorming for catchphrases such as “Handrails, There for a Reason,” “Get a Grip,” and “A fall, a slip, a hospital trip.” Those ended up in the recycle bin, More>

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    Microwave Oven Safety Tips Practically everyone at the lab uses a microwave oven to heat something – maybe lunch or snack in the common kitchen, or perhaps a liquid or media in a dedicated laboratory microwave. Several times a day even, we place a container in the microwave, press a few buttons and presto – it’s done! What could go wrong with something that simple? More>
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    Hero Card Raffle Winner Jeffrey Takakuwa Shares UC Berkeley Resources for Managing Stress Jeffrey Takakuwa, mechanical engineer in the Engineering Division and one of this quarter’s lucky Hero Card raffle winners, received a $50 prize for his good deed of spreading the word about two valuable resources offered to LBNL employees through UC Berkeley University Health Services - the Be Well at Work Employee Assistance and Elder Care Programs. More>
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    Director’s Award for Exceptional Achievement: Consider Submitting Safety Nominations — Every year since the inception of the Director’s Award for Exceptional Achievement by Dr. Alivisatos in 2011, the Berkeley Lab director has had the opportunity to personally recognize the experts who are making a world of difference in a broad range of categories. In anticipation of new nominations, the Safety Culture Work Group would like to foreground the outstanding contributions to Berkeley Lab’s safety culture of past recipients of the Director’s Award for Safety. More>
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    Hero Card Raffle Winner Michael Connolly “Safes the Day” Every Day Michael ConnollyNewest Hero Card raffle winner Michael Connolly, Principal Scientific Engineering Associate in the Materials Science Division, is a super hero when it comes to spreading safety culture to the diverse users that conduct work at the Molecular Foundry. “At Berkeley Lab we emphasize safety – which may be a new perspective for some visiting researchers – so our staff makes every effort to convey the safe work practices that have evolved as the science grows,” he observed when asked about the Foundry’s safety culture. More >
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    Making Bicycling Safer at the Lab Recent changes at some locations at the main Berkeley Lab site are helping make it safer for our bicycling employees. The Lab has its first official bike lane!  In addition, “sharrows” (a bicycle with arrows pointing forward) have been painted on many downhill lanes across the site to alert motorists of locations where bicycles may share the roadway. These are great milestones that improve road safety and show a commitment to encouraging alternative means of commuting to work. In this case, human power! More >
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    Watch out! The BLAZES students will be on the hill starting in October Did you know that over 2000 students, teachers and other members of the public visit the Lab each year? Workforce Development & Education hosts many of these guests on site to share the Lab’s work, as well as to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. More >
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    Everyday Electrical Safety at Berkeley Lab In response to recent electrical work accidents at Berkeley Lab, a lot of energy has gone into developing a new Electrical Safety Program that affects primarily the work performed by trained qualified electrical workers. But what about the rest of us who do not work closely with specialized electrical equipment - what can we do to keep electrical accidents and fires resulting from ordinary but faulty electrical equipment from happening? More >
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    Hero Card Raffle Winner Brought Ergonomics Awareness to Department - Next Drawing Coming Up How does starting a departmental conversation on ergonomics turn into a $50 prize? In Jack Krous’s case, his division business manager gave the LBNL IT professional a Hero Card because of his proactive problem solving approach related to ergonomics. The benefit to the department was having a conversation on a wider scale to raise awareness about preventing and alleviating repetitive stress injuries. More >
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    First Quarter 2015 Hero Card Raffle Winners Receive $50 Each This quarter’s lucky safety heroes – Advanced Light Source Designer Adrian Spucces and Environmental Specialist John Jeliniski – were awarded $50 each for having been selected at random from among the Hero Card recipients who registered their card in the past three quarters.  More >
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    Adam Bradford Earns Safety Recognition Award for New Safety Barrier When Building Manager Adam Bradford noticed a distracted worker coming too close to the edge one day he identified this safety issue to Facilities and Environment/Safety/and Health (EHS) staff. Working with EHS’s Matthew Rice, the safety gear that was eventually installed balances the needs for dock work while bringing attention to the safety hazard for pedestrians. Adam’s initiative in identifying the hazard and seeing the resolution through to a successful end has earned him an EHS Safety Recognition Award. More>
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    ALS User Properly Disposed of Abandoned Waste, Wins Hero Card Raffle Ph.D candidate Cheng Hao Wu is one of two lucky winners in the most recent Hero Card raffle. His proactive approach to clearing a work bench was noticed by a colleague, who handed him a Hero Card for doing the right thing. In addition to a Hero Card “Thank You”, Chenghao received $50 for winning the raffle. More>
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    Facilities Worker Makes Suspicious Find Lab Senior Laborer Jose Soriano is a winner of the most recent Hero Card raffle.  He spotted a bottle of liquid near Building 88 without a label and alerted his supervisor.  Due to his vigilance, the substance in the bottle was analyzed, found to be a hazardous oil, and disposed of properly.   For his actions, he was given a Hero Card which made him eligible for the quarterly raffle.   Nicely done Jose! More >
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    ATAP Division Safety Culture Encourages Openness, Feedback and Perseverance For ATAP Division Director Wim Leemans, listening to firsthand accounts of accidents and near-misses “is more powerful than any lessons learned that you get in an e-mail.”

    For example, he says, two of his Lab workers shared experiences from previous jobs in industry, where, Leemans says, “laser safety standards were lower than what we have.” Both employees had suffered eye injuries from lasers. Among their details shared with Berkeley Lab coworkers:  When you are struck in the eye with a laser, your vision turns red due to popped blood vessels.

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    Safety Spot Awards honor those going above, beyond Janie Morse and Michael WallingTwo stories show the dedication of Berkeley Lab workers who look out for their colleagues' safety: Every day, Michael Walling and Janie Morse process incoming packages in Berkeley Lab’s Shipping and Receiving department. But late last year, they spotted a potentially dangerous problem. Packages of hazardous materials were arriving without proper labeling. Michael and Janie took action to ensure the shipper was aware and would correct its procedure.
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    Berkeley Lab Safety Super-Hero Wins a Raffle Bill Singh

    A few months back, Bill Singh, a senior recruiter in Human Resources, spotted slip hazards on a walkway near Building 90. “Leaf-blowers had blown foliage onto the hilly stairway leading from Building 90 to Building 55,” he says. This made for a slippery situation, so Bill took action and cleared the branches off the walkway so that others could walk safely. Robert Rodriguez, a fellow senior recruiter in HR, happened to see Bill’s efforts to prevent a slip-and-fall injury, and promptly handed over a Hero Card.

     

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    National Lab Safety Culture Inspires College Prof

    Prof. Monte Helm had some trepidation about doing research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). He feared a “government-run laboratory with inflexible rules instituted by someone with no experience working with dangerous compounds,” he says. But Helm, a chemistry professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, had an entirely different experience at PNNL. And he brought that inspiration back to enhance his own laboratory.

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    Berkeley Lab Heroes Carry the Card…and Pass It On

    There are 225 Hero Cards waiting in the wallets of participating Lab employees, and they are ready to hand one over to you on the spot. On the back of each card, recipients are asked to register its assigned number on the Hero Card Web site, hero.lbl.gov. After Paula and Sandra did so, they were each mailed one of the Lab’s “Safety is Elemental” lapel pins. Their registration also automatically enrolled them in a drawing for the two $50 prizes.

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    Machine Shop Users Get Dose of Tough Love Berkeley Lab’s Users Machine Shop, where scientists build their own parts for experiments at the Advanced Light Source, was once thought of as the most likely place for a workplace accident. Not anymore.
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    How JGI Employees Tackle Safety Culture Employees at the Joint Genome Institute are the driving force behind the Walnut Creek user facility’s ever evolving and strengthening safety culture. Hear from several JGI team members about their team-based contributions. Watch.
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    DOE Safety Chief On HSS Safety Culture Report Glenn Podonsky, DOE's Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer, answers questions on the HSS Safety Culture Report. See video here.
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    Lab Safety Is Tackled as a Problem of Behaviors as Much as Standards The National Research Council is beginning a yearlong analysis of what can be done to stop a rash of lab accidents on university campuses. In a relatively new approach, behavioral scientists will take part in the review. Link to article.
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    Lab Director Introduces Principles for Analyzing Adverse Incidents Developing an in-depth understanding of adverse events is “part of our collaborative approach” in striving for improvement in both safety and operational excellence. It is important to analyze why adverse incidents occurred.
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    Expert Explains Evolution of Ergonomics Walk into an office at Berkeley Lab today, and chances are you’ll see some employees sitting or standing in front of desks they can raise or lower by the push of a button. Adjustable, back-friendly office chairs are commonplace. On computer screens that were carefully positioned with the help of an ergonomics consultant, it’s possible to call up charts that show a steady and gratifying decline in repetitive stress injuries.
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    Near-Miss Program A Hit It takes guts to share your mistakes and near misses with your colleagues. Who wants to look foolish when they can keep mum, silently vowing not to repeat said mistake? The Materials Sciences Division (MSD) not only gets people to freely admit their mistakes and near misses, but it rewards the year’s best close call in an annual competition.
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    When Doing the Right Thing is Routine… When Anna Javier walked in to her battery research lab in Building 62 last fall, she was startled by the condition of the package delivered just inside the door. “It looked,” she recalls, “like a truck had run over it.” She also knew the chemical inside that package, sodium ethoxide, to be a flammable solid:  Expose it to enough moisture in the air, and it will generate flammable gas. 
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    All Hands Toward Safety Creating the safest, most productive work environment isn’t going to happen if you don’t have buy-in from every employee involved.

    In the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD) we encourage everyone to help find controls to the safety hazards facing them. Who better knows their work environments?

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    Transporting ESD’s Safety Culture Whether it is energy-saving technologies for buildings, or discovery of an accelerating universe, a lot of good ideas are hatched at Berkeley Lab, and word does get around. Thanks to David Singer, who worked as a postdoc for four years in the Earth Sciences Division, Berkeley Lab’s safety culture has traveled with him to his new job in Ohio as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology at Kent State University.
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    LBNL Safety Culture Takes to the Road How does an organization move the concept of safety culture from something hypothetical to an integral part of an organization’s fabric? That’s what the 15 members of the City of Berkeley’s Safety Committee wanted to know after hearing a presentation about how Berkeley Lab approached the subject.
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    Community-Based Traffic Safety Solutions This new year sees Berkeley Lab’s roadways and walkways busier than ever. There’s always the expected traffic from everyday business. Plus, construction at three major building sites and a temporary closure of McMillan Road between Buildings 17 and 71 due to a potential landslide are causing increased congestion.
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    Lab Ergonomics – It’s Not Just About the Office Eight years ago, Berkeley Lab scientist Thorsten Weber, left in photo, injured his back lifting a heavy steel lid across the top of his 500-pound reaction microscope and — in a strange way — we may all be better off for that.
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    Rap Video Down With Safety — In his homemade rap video, Matt Rodriguez name checks ISM, mountain lions, JHA, Alameda Whipsnakes, and PPE like he’s been employed at LBNL for years. Funny thing is, he arrived in May, as a subcontractor. Because of his rap video, Rodriguez was honored with a Safety Recognition Award and Safety is Elemental pin for developing and maintaining effective safety culture at the site...
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    Grassroot Efforts Bolster Safety Culture I’m proud of our safety culture at Berkeley Lab.  We have a groundswell of support coming from all levels of every division. This broad participation manifests itself in a consistently strong safety culture as well as in new and innovative ways to keep the conversation on the subject relevant and meaningful.
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    Colleague’s Concern Prevents Amputation It was a chance encounter on a Wednesday afternoon in late September that may have saved Xavier Permanyer’s life.
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    Increased Construction Traffic Everyone’s Concern — Berkeley Lab COO Glenn Kubiak stresses how increased construction traffic affects the safety of everybody at the Lab.
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    Colleagues Got Your Back People are watching out for each other. And they’re doing it from all over the Lab - so say the Safety Spot Award program's end-of-FY12 numbers.
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    Small Pin Recognizes Big Efforts Why is your colleague wearing a pin emblazoned with a Periodic Table-esque “Sf”? Did somebody discover a new element and not send you the memo? Have the worlds of fashion and science merged while you weren’t looking?

    Worry not. The pins are part of the Lab’s Safety Culture Initiative and are given to colleagues who have demonstrated a strong commitment to safety.

  • Blog:
    Clever Icon Plays on Lab History A lot of thought went into a little logo. Safety Is Elemental, a phrase and logo concept chosen from more than 150 entries, captures the spirit of the strong safety culture at the Laboratory. Deputy Lab Director Horst Simon (center) sent a Level-One email in February asking staff to come up with memorable phrases. Liz Moxon (left) and Lori Tamura of the Advanced Light Source Communications Group put their creative heads together and came up with the winner.

     

  • Blog:
    New Safety Campaign Reminds Riders to Buckle-Up!

    You may notice something new at your feet as you wait for a Berkeley Lab shuttle bus. All around the Lab, brightly painted signs on the pavement remind riders to “Buckle-Up!” while riding the shuttles. Soon you’ll see posters and stickers--part of a new EH&S campaign reminding riders to use seat belts on the shuttles.

     

  • Blog:
    EH&S Safety Advisory for Aeron Chairs

    Two recent incidents at the Lab involved a critical bolt fastener coming loose and falling out of an Aeron chair (mesh fabric). Go here to see what an Aeron chair looks like and the location of the assembly defect, then fill out this form. A manufacturer’s representive will onsite next week to inspect all Aeron chairs. Do not use the chair if unsure about its functionality. Contact Ira Janowitz (x6071) for more information.

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    Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee Members Recognized

    Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee Members Aundra Richards of the DOE Berkeley Site Office presented awards to the members of the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee, recognizing their efforts in hosting the Lab’s recent Traffic and Road Safety Fair. Awardees include (from l-r, front row), Betsy MacGowan, Marie Butson, Edith Perry, Richard DeBusk, and Tennessee Gock. Members not pictured are James Basore and Ann Tomaselli.

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    Lab Website to Grow Safety Culture Cultivating and sustaining safety awareness is a job never finished, one that requires participation from every person at the Lab.  All of us can learn from one another by sharing our safety achievements, best practices, and lessons learned. This redesigned website’s goal is to continue and expand the dialogue on safety, creating a forum to build upon established programs and practices by introducing, listening to, and often implementing new ideas and practices that will help the entire community reach higher levels of awareness.

    “We all need to look at safety as a continuous improvement process,” says Horst Simon, deputy lab director. “We’re proud of the many mature systems we have in place, but it’s imperative to build on those successes in order to develop the best-in-class safety culture.”

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    Seat Belt Survey Drives Results Berkeley Lab is testing retractable seatbelts on one of our buses as a result of the recent survey of shuttle bus riders. Of the 168 responses to why riders don’t wear seat belts, the main reason was lack of seat-belt accessibility. If the test goes smoothly, retractable seat belts will be installed on all shuttle buses. In a video for Road Safety Day, Director Paul Alivisatos reminded riders to wear seat belts for their safety. Take the survey for a chance to win an $8 coupon at the Bay View Café. The final drawing will be in August. Go here for more on the Lab’s Road Safety program.
  • Blog:
    Don’t Feed the Lab’s Wildlife
    One of the perks of working at Berkeley Lab is the natural environment that surrounds us, but this beautiful location also puts people precariously close to the Hill’s wildlife. It is up to employees to help make sure a safe distance between humans and animals is maintained. It has come to the attention of the Environment Health and Safety Division that some staff are feeding local deer, turkeys, and feral cats. Attracting these animals — which are prey for area mountain lions — brings them closer to Lab buildings and their occupants. Employees are asked not to feed these animals and to place food waste in receptacles with secured lids. For more information, contact Brian Asuelo (x7791) or Karen Leffingwell (x6234).
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    Employees Receive Safety Spot Awards

    A group of employees were recently given Spot Awards recognizing their efforts to improve safety at the Lab. The awards were presented by COO Jim Krupnick and Deputy Lab Director Horst Simon. So far, about 30 Safety Spot Awards have been awarded to operations and scientific staff, with the goal of 80 for the year. This most recent group includes (last row, from l-r): Weyland Wong, Jim Krupnick, Simon Morton, Seana Summers, Gary Smith, Maria Maroudas, Tony Marquez, Lorraine Dowling, Margie Wylie, Ben Ortega, Ville Anabeza, Laurel Davis, Horst Simon, Sau Pham, Larry Guo, and Joy Fleming. Go here to nominate a co-worker for a Safety Spot Award.

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    Deadline for Safety Video Contest is June 15, Chance to Win $200

    Employees interested in submitting an entry for the Environment Health and Safety Division’s video contest have until June 15 to complete their projects. Individuals or teams are invited to submit videos of three-minutes or less that addresses one or more safety, health, or environmental issue that is relevant to Berkeley Lab, either in the workplace or at home. The top five videos will be selected by the EH&S Communications Committee and Lab Management. The Lab community will then vote for the three winners. First place wins $200, second $75, and third $50.

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    Director’s Awards for Exceptional Achievement Announced

    The recipients of the new Director’s Awards for Exceptional Achievement have been named. Individuals and teams were recognized in the following areas: scientific, early science career, safety, service, tech transfer, operations, outreach, diversity, and societal impact. Go here for descriptions of the award categories and the winners of each category. The program also includes the Berkeley Lab Prize-Lifetime Achievement award, which will be announced later this week. Honorees will be acknowledged at a future ceremony and reception. Details will be published in Today at Berkeley Lab.

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