October 15, 2004  


Serious Accident Leads to Accelerator Shutdown

A Special Announcement by Lab Director Jonathan Dorfan

A contractor’s electrician working at SLAC suffered a serious accident on Monday, October 11.  The accident took place in the klystron gallery of the linear accelerator and involved a 480V flashover.  At the time of writing, the electrician is in critical but stable condition. The distress to his wife and family is enormous and I know you all join me in sending our heart-felt prayers for his speedy and complete recovery.

An investigative team, including experts from DOE headquarters and other DOE sites, will arrive on Monday, October, 18 and spend approximately three weeks on-site doing a thorough and in-depth evaluation of the accident. As is appropriate, the scene of the accident is sealed off so as to protect the evidence.

In order to emphasize my grave level of concern, I directed that all work, other than desk and janitorial work and essential maintenance involving equipment safety, be stopped on Tuesday October, 12.  I also took the extraordinary step of turning off the accelerators indefinitely to allow us to focus all our energies on one imperative: SAFETY.  Safety comes first–no questions!  Safety is something that all of us must value above all.

Following the one-day total work stoppage, we have returned to work, but with restrictions in the areas of electrical work, work on elevated surfaces and hoisting and rigging.  The accelerators remain off until further notice. 

There is work on this site that is hazardous.  This work demands an approach of great respect and understanding.  It is work that requires and needs careful planning, training and the use of proper procedures and protective equipment. I expect you all to know and follow safe work practices – there can be no compromises.  The Integrated Safety Management approach is the vehicle to accomplish this.

I finish as I started, by sending our wishes of support to him and his family, and by exhorting us all to look deeply into our behavior at work to ensure that such an accident never again happens at SLAC.



The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Thursday October 14, 2004 by Emily Ball