J.B. Dawson

Consider all the possibilities when you start a task. Image courtesy of lilesnet When most people start a new task, they tend to assume that things will go right. It is natural be optimistic and focus only on how things will get done rather than think about what could go wrong. You consider the task and develop a set of actions that will drive you to the goal. Unfortunately, life is seldom this simple. Murphy’s Law states that anything that…

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” —Albert Einstein Learning from past events and projects is a good thing, both at home and at work. By sharing lessons learned, we can increase safety, improve quality and reduce the cost of our products and processes. Many divisions, sections and centers here at Fermilab already keep records of lessons learned. But what is the best way of collecting and sharing them at…

Driving while using your cell phone on Fermilab grounds is a traffic violation. Be safe: Don’t let yourself be distracted while driving. A new Illinois state law permits the use of some electronic devices while driving, but here at Fermilab the rules are stricter. While texting and driving is illegal, as of Jan. 1, 2014, House Bill 1247, PA 98-0506 states that chatting on a hand-held cell phone while driving is now also a traffic violation in the state of…

Can you guess what’s wrong in this picture? The holiday season brings many joys, such as family gatherings and festive decorations. However, it also brings hazards. Flickering candles, blinking lights and fragrant evergreens are beautiful staples of the holiday season, but when used improperly, these holiday decorations can pose dangers. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year during the winter holiday season, about 11,000 people are treated in emergency rooms because of decoration-related injuries, with falls, cuts,…

Making checklists is a worthwhile investment of your time since it will help you remember important tasks and avoid costly errors and failures. Did you ever skip making a list because the task was so easy even a caveman could do it? Sometimes people think forgetting doesn’t happen to them. But forgetfulness happens no matter how young, old or smart we are. That is why we should make and use checklists. Checklists are one of many standard practices we use…

Remember to look behind you when backing your vehicle. Photo: Fermilab Security Although we at Fermilab ended fiscal year 2013 with our lowest injury rate in years, the rate of vehicle accidents rose. Backing accidents accounted for over 50 percent of all vehicle accidents for the past two years. While most vehicle accidents at Fermilab involved only property damage, bodily injuries have been recorded in the past. According to the National Safety Council, one out of four vehicle accidents can…

ESH&Q uses a number of channels to communicate its messages to Fermilab employees. To communicate environment, safety, health and quality assurance issues, the ESH&Q section works in collaboration with the Fermilab Office of Communication, site entry safety slogan team, Take Five for Goal Zero team and Clorica Management Services. Together we have created programs that, through the publication of articles, posters, quizzes and challenges, Web pages, and slogans, are intended to educate, inform and remind everyone of environment, safety and…

ESH&Q is currently revising the Fermilab Integrated Quality Assurance program. Here at Fermilab we believe that safety and quality go hand in hand, and we work hard to integrate both into our everyday activities. “Just as with safety, quality assurance is also everyone’s responsibility,” says recently hired Quality Assurance Specialist Kathy Zappia. “We should think about quality assurance as we plan and perform our daily activities, not just when an audit or assessment is coming up.” Kathy, who will also…

Two wheels or four, let’s all reach the door, safely. Share the road. Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation The warm weather brings many cyclists to Fermilab, increasing the chances of collisions with motorists. To minimize this risk, Fermilab’s ESH&Q Section and the Traffic Safety Subcommittee (TSS) urge everyone to be aware of this issue and follow the Illinois Rules of the Road. These rules apply to motorists and cyclists, and they are enforced at Fermilab. Fermilab stresses…

The existing ES&H program is merging with the lab’s Quality Assurance program to leverage the capabilities of both. As you may already know, the Office of Quality and Best Practice has transitioned to become the QA, Training & Communications group within the Environment, Safety, Health & Quality Section. Under the direction of a new quality assurance manager, Fermilab is taking steps to integrate QA functions and services with our existing ES&H program. This will serve to leverage the capabilities of…