ES&H: Working behind the scenes to keep you safe

Nancy Grossman

Nancy Grossman, head of the ES&H Section, wrote this column.

It takes a village to create a strong ES&H culture. We are fortunate to have countless people out in the field working to improve the ES&H program at the lab on a regular basis, most of whom do not even work in ES&H. They include employees submitting ES&H concerns, stockroom employees searching out green products and engineers designing systems to keep doses to personnel low. The 15 Fermilab ES&H subcommittees are also key to our strong ES&H program. Many of the people on these committees also are not ES&H personnel, but serve to keep our labwide ES&H programs effective. I thank all of these people for helping to make Fermilab’s program more effective by constantly working to appropriately address hazards and minimize our impact on the environment.

You may have noticed some of the recent changes made thanks to the Traffic Safety Subcommittee’s efforts. The TSS was formed in 2007 to enhance and improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and with the goal to reduce the frequency of traffic-related accidents.

TSS members respond to inquiries, complaints and suggestions. Some are sent directly to TSS members; some are passed on through division, section or sector grass roots safety organizations, and some come through the Fermilab Service Desk. Their investigation process usually involves a team of TSS members who meet at the problematic location to analyze and discuss the inquiry, complaint or suggestion. These investigations have resulted in additional safety policies, new training, exchange of information and several modifications to the traffic or parking patterns at Fermilab. Some of these results include:

  • Restrictions or modifications to parking lots or parking spots to reduce blind spots
  • Erection of a stop sign at the intersection of Schwann (access road to MINOS) and Giese Roads
  • On-site traffic accident map with narrative and photos
  • Placement of the portable “stop for pedestrian” signs strategically located throughout lab grounds

As a final note on traffic safety, everyone should be aware that on Nov. 19, a Quiet Zone became effective, and trains will no longer sound their horns at the CN Railroad crossing at Batavia Road on the east side of the lab. We all know the physics: Trains cannot stop quickly to avoid collisions. Please be careful and make sure to check before crossing railroad tracks.