Take Five for Goal Zero

Martha Michels

Martha Michels, head of the ESH&Q Section, wrote this column.

Take Five is an important campaign. Taking five minutes to plan work, taking five seconds before action and reflecting on five items after completing a task are smart ways to work. This approach can make all the difference in working safely and minimizing impact to the environment. For me, “taking five” is a conscious choice I make to take the time to think about myself, others and the environment before I act.

With regard to the environment, there are many situations in which one can stop and take a moment to think of ways to minimize impacts. This spring, our Hazard Control Technology Team investigated an alternative technology to minimize spent-solvent waste production, which costs the laboratory money and creates hazardous waste, which we then must properly treat and dispose into the environment. Other ways to take five for the environment include registering at GreenRide to find others with whom to carpool, biking to work, powering down electronics at the end of the day and recycling all that you can.

Everyone at Fermilab can have a positive impact on how our business and research is conducted. Whether it is keeping the environment cleaner or keeping ourselves and others safer, we all have the choice to Take Five. With all the changes occurring at the laboratory, we can become easily distracted. We need to be aware and vigilant of our surroundings as we do our work. Taking five is more important than ever, and we can all benefit from the Take Five campaign.

I encourage you to visit the Take Five Web page for tools and information that will assist you in your everyday work tasks as well as at home and during travel. Also, please share your ideas, suggestions and questions through the Take Five Web page. Everyone is responsible for safety, and your feedback is very important to us.

A final word of congratulations to everyone at the lab for outstanding safety performance in FY13. We ended the year with our lowest injury rate in five years! Continue to work safely and remember to Take Five.