Friday, January 07, 2005

Response to Safety Observation

In response to Brad's comment, a LANL staff member said the following:

I'm not aware of what they are alluding to.  My task is just to insure

the integrity of the data that goes into the system--the description of
illnesses, injuries, and their causes and corrective actions. I do
know that others at a higher pay grade "do the numbers" to fit their
goals. Last week, a good person who works with me said
Nanos found out that our injury/illness stats put us "in the green" as
acceptable. SO, he changed the parameters to put just about all
directorates in the red.


Brad's response to the above:

Bottom line: It appears that Lab management is trying to bend the
statistics to fit their public relations agenda. The data that was
cited in the Physics Today article were taken from DOE and LBNL
(Lawrence Berkeley) websites. Presumably, they are unlaundered site
statistics for injury rates in the DOE complex, along with nationwide
industrial averages. Now, in order to cover Nanos' decision, they are
trying to make a case that LANL is "orders of magnitude worse." Before
the incidents that led to his decision to shut down the entire lab,
Nanos tried to make the case that he had solved the myriad problems in
security, safety, and business practices that had plagued Los Alamos
for the years prior to his arrival as Director. When those incidents
occurred, his ego got wrapped up in the mess; he lost his temper; and
he over-reacted. Now, in hindsight, he and the public relations
apparatus of the Lab, DOE, and NNSA are working overtime to justify the
fiasco as being "just in the nick of time, or else something REALLY,
REALLY horrible would have happened." Either that, or they lied earlier
about the safety data, in order to make Los Alamos look good (or good
enough, depending on which set of data you choose), or else now there
is something even worse they are hiding. Which is it? They can't have
it both ways--can they?

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