February 18, 2005  


Director's Corner

By Jonathan Dorfan

17 and 8
Minimizing work-related injuries and illnesses is good management—maintaining the SLAC Family’s health and well-being is an important collective goal for all of us. In that regard, 17 and 8 are two numbers that I would like all of you to keep forefront in your minds this year. These are the maximum numbers of incidents in two safety-incident categories that have been set by the DOE for Fiscal Year 2005.

Photo by Diana Rogers

17 is the maximum number of incidents for FY2005 in the category “Total Recordable Cases (TRC)”. So what is a TRC incident? Any safety incident that requires more than first-aid treatment is classified as a TRC. If someone slips on a wet walkway, grazes a knee and the treatment is a band-aid, then this incident is not classified as a TRC. However, if there is a laceration on the knee that needs a suture, then the treatment is beyond first aid and it counts in the TRC category. If there is an onset of a work-related illness that can be treated by our medical service with first-aid, then it is not a TRC. However, if you require a prescription drug, then it is a TRC.

8 is the maximum number set for FY2005 of “Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART)” case rate as a result of a safety incident. Let’s look at some examples to get a clear idea of what DART means. If one of us suffers a back strain while lifting a piece of equipment and we have to spend a day at home, then that counts as one DART case. If we stay at work but our normal activities are restricted as a consequence of the strained back, then it becomes a DART case. If we cannot carry out our normal tasks because of the back problem and our supervisor transfers us to another activity that we can perform successfully, it counts as a DART case. How long we are away, restricted or transferred does not affect the DART case rating. If it is one day or one month, it counts as one DART incident.

17 and 8 are low numbers. To give you a comparison, there were 34 TRC and 18 DART incidents at SLAC in Fiscal Year 2004. It will take a conscious and consistent effort from each and every one of us, each and every day, to keep to the FY2005 limits.

Scope out each job before you start, identify the hazards and the controls - then use the controls you have identified. We have all filled out JHAMs. Think about them before you start a job. If you suspect your routine JHAM does not authorize you to do the work, get together with your supervisor to prepare a non-routine JHAM.

Trips, slips and falls are among the most common safety incidents at SLAC and we all have a responsibility to eliminate them. Last week, I watched someone vault from a low wall near the ROB instead of taking the appropriate route along the pathway. Please don’t take shortcuts like that—it is so easy to hurt yourself. Stay healthy by adapting every level of your daily behavior to avoid a safety incident. I know I have adapted mine.

The TRC and DART goals for Fiscal Year 2005 are tough, but achievable as evidenced by statistics at other labs and in industry. Make no mistake, SLAC is being carefully watched to see if we achieve them. Meeting these goals will be a concrete demonstration that all of us are determined and active in ensuring the health and well-being of all who work at and visit SLAC.



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

Last update Wednesday February 16, 2005 by Emily Ball