The shutdown has begun, and with it comes an enormous amount of work to upgrade our accelerators and build the detectors for our new projects. Today I want to remind you to be ever vigilant regarding your safety. This applies to all work activities, but especially to the large mechanical installations such as the Main Injector and the NOvA detector, which are not routine and can lead to serious injuries if you do not pay attention.
I normally would not feel the need to call attention to this matter, trusting the strong safety culture at Fermilab. However, this year’s numbers for recordable cases and for days away and restricted are the worst we have had in the last several years. Is this a sign that we are relaxing our attention to safety? These injuries were accumulated over the last several months, before the start of the shutdown, and naturally raise concerns that we are not doing enough to ensure the persistent awareness necessary for us to stay safe at all times.
I am asking all of you – leaders of divisions and sections, managers and supervisors and non-supervisory employees – to heighten your awareness and redouble your efforts to keep working safely above all other considerations. You owe it to yourself, your family and your co-workers.