Monday, May 02, 2005

The following is a message to employees from Laboratory Director Pete Nanos

From Anonymous:

I'm glad to see he's putting his last days to good, productive use.

Mandatory electrical safety all-hands meeting on Wednesday

May 2, 2005

Editor’s note: The following is a message to employees from Laboratory Director Pete Nanos.

In the interest of improving our electrical safety performance and in line with a recent Department of Energy-wide letter, I am taking actions to bring specific focus on electrical safety during the month of May.

In the recent letter, Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman emphasizes the importance of fixing electrical safety problems such as inadequate work planning, working on energized systems without proper personal protective equipment, and failures to perform zero-energy checks. Secretary Bodman urged facilities in DOE to demonstrate improved electrical safety performance.

I am further committing [the Laboratory] to excel in the complex with regards to electrical safety.

Electrical safety includes everyone, no matter what your job, so I am kicking off this focus at an all-employee meeting on electrical safety for Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Administration Building’s Main Auditorium. The meeting or viewing of a video of the meeting will be required. Managers should document attendance or viewing of the video if an employee is on travel or out sick.

At Wednesday’s meeting, we will discuss several recent electrical safety incidents and lessons learned from them. While no one was hurt in the incidents, the potential existed for injuries. These incidents are indicators that a bigger problem exists, and we must refocus our efforts and attention to a higher level.

Managers are currently involved in a behavior-based safety training program to achieve excellence in safety performance. The elements involve training both managers and employees, which integrate the best-in class behavioral observations. Based on the Dupont Safety Training Observation Program, or STOP, it is designed to develop a sustainable system, which drives continuous improvement and holds every employee responsible for his or her own safety, behaviors and the safety of those around them.

The Behavioral Excellence Initiative—and the Safety Training and Observation Program (STOP) it’s built around — teaches that all safety incidents are preventable. A strong safety culture rests on vigilance. Safety is not a single destination; it’s an ongoing journey we must commit to and embark on daily.

The behaviors of others directly influence your safety and security at the Lab. I want you to know the significance of recognizing the importance of electrical safety as well as the value of locked-out/tagged-out safety systems, and we will discuss who to report safety hazards or procedure violations to and how to bring those issues forward.

In addition, electrical safety will be briefed at Tuesday’s Laboratory Information Meeting. All nested safety and security meetings this month also will focus on electrical safety. Managers should also take this opportunity to dedicate management walkarounds to electrical safety, using guidance cards that will come out this week.

Wednesday’s mandatory meeting will be broadcast on LABNET, Channel 9 and will be available on computers via Real Player technology.

It is good to know that LANL is paying attention to safety fundamentals. During the past 40 years that I have been associated with nuclear technology, the worst accidents were industrial safety and not nuclear-ish matters. Any (just one) industrial safety issue at a nuclear facility seems to get 100 times the attention in the news media as it would at a non-nuclear facility. After all, if you have not mastered the basics, we don't want you messing with the advanced stuff. It is a hundred times more important for LANL folks to master electrical safety than Ford Motor Company employees, so get on with it.
This may be the 10 or 20 electrical safety course I will have attended. I go to so many, but I am not permitted to work on energized equipment, however, I am very familiar with the hazards.
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