September 3, 2004  


The Role of the Employee in ES&H

By Mike Grissom

“Responsibility for promoting and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and for protection of the natural environment rests with every individual who works on the SLAC site.”   —Burton Richter

Employees and subcontractors may need a variety of PPE in the course of their work. (Photo courtesy of Jack Fry)

This quote is a timely reminder given accident rates have been rising. Here are three things all of us should do every day to meet this challenge.

Be Aware of Work Hazards

Be aware of hazards related to your work. John Turek, Industrial Safety Engineer (SHA), suggests the following simple steps:

1. Think about the work you are about to do.

2. Decide if it is safe. If not, then stop. Rethink what you are doing so it can be done safely, then go ahead.

3. If you are not sure if you can proceed safely, ask for help. Your supervisor, department head, associate director, and the experts at ES&H can all help make your work and life at SLAC safer.

Take Advantage of Job-Focused Information

As a part of the Lab’s on-going efforts to reduce accidents and injuries, a variety of information has been prepared specific to different kinds of jobs:

1. Office Workers. People working mainly at desks throughout the day tend to have injuries and accidents such as repetitive stress or back injuries. See the Medical website for information on ergonomics:

2. Researchers. Researchers tend to have both general accidents (back injuries) and ones specific to their fields, for instance chemical burns or electrical shocks. Pay special attention to using the personal protective equipment (PPE) specific to your field. See:

3. Industrial Workers. People in industrial jobs such as machinists and carpenters tend to have accidents involving equipment specific to their field, in addition to general injuries such as back strain. Pay special attention to using equipment properly and following approved procedures, and using the right PPE for your work. See the Job Hazard Analysis and Mitigation process:

Remember Your Responsibility for Safety

At times we all can feel rushed in our work or not foresee every possible hazard. That is when we need to look out for one another. Remember that if you see someone working unsafely, you have both the duty and authority to stop them, respectfully, in order to avoid or prevent an accident. The bottom line is each of us is responsible for our own safety as employees at SLAC.

Future TIP articles will provide details about how individuals can participate in specific programs, for example the SLAC Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS). Details about the program are available on the Web:  


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

Last update Friday September 03, 2004 by Emily Ball