Monday, January 24, 2005

More questions on Nanos' safety numbers

Also from the NewsBulletin:

Jan. 21, 2005

Safety numbers

I have a few comments/questions regarding Pete Nanos' recent talk.

  1. I couldn't understand why there appears to be a factor of 2-3 between Nanos' safety numbers and the numbers Brad Holian published in Physics Today. These numbers should be a matter of fact. Somebody who works with the Lab safety numbers needs to explain to us why this discrepancy exists. Holian referenced where he got his numbers from, so it shouldn't be too hard to track down. I suspect that they are comparing apples and oranges, but it would be useful to find out. If nothing else, it would be useful to know if you can get a factor of 2-3 difference in the results depending on how you look at the data.
  2. I'm curious if the data indicates that there has been a statistically significant drop in the accident rate during the suspension of operations. I would assume that the accident rate during the suspension of operations is about as good as we could ever hope to do. That might give us an idea what accident rate we might reasonably aspire to. In other words, can we use the period while Laboratory operations were suspended to provide us with a baseline?

--Richard Nebel

Actually, according to the graphs that Director Nanos fumbled with during his 1-19-2005 All Hands presentation, the numbers take an _upturn_ in reported safety incidents in the period following the shutdown. Perhaps there was some "fear factor" at play at LANL. Nervous equipment operators are not safe equipment operators.
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