Friday, August 12, 2005

Re: Root cause of the chemical uptake incident has not been addressed

From Anonymous:

Having once been a graduate student (I am an engineer, so that when I got my
PhD, I could get a REAL JOB and did not have to endure the indentured
servitude of one or more post-doctoral positions) and a having been a line
manager at LANL, I can tell you that I was scared $#itless about having
students (UGS & GRA) and Post-Docs in a laboratory environment at LANL.
Things that I and my cohorts did as grad students send shivers up my spine
these days. The post-docs in particular are under time pressure to get the
experiment done and the papers out before their appointment expires so they
have a strong focus on the work and little thought about the consequences of
error. And they, like us, regard most of the LANL required training as
little more than LANL management boarding up their backsides as well as
providing jobs for the chronically unemployable training staff so there is
some disrespect of many of the safety guidelines and the IWD process. These
post-docs have university experience and regard most of the safety stuff as
an impediment to getting their work done. Of course, that is wrong, but that
seems to be what many of them feel.

So, as a line manager, supervisor, or mentor of students and/or post-docs,
one is in continual jeopardy should that student or post-doc suffer an
injury. I know of one instance where a supervisor directed a student to stay
out of the lab. Shortly after that conversation, the student went into the
lab and got hurt. The supervisor and his GL both got two weeks off without
pay. The judgement was that the student should have been watched to assure
his absence from the laboratory.

Clearly one can see the motivation to NOT report accidents.

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