Cheers to a safe and
Nancy Grossman, who became the head of the Environment, Safety & Health section on Dec. 1, wrote this week's column.
I'll never forget when in 1984 the high-energy physics group at the University of Minnesota flew me to Fermilab to recruit me to work on a Fermilab experiment. I thought Fermilab was an amazing place, with the huge detectors, the humming Linac, the buffalo and the prairie. Today, whenever I lead a tour, visit a school or attend an operations meeting, I'm reminded of how lucky we are to work here. There is a sense of camaraderie and pride here that I don't think you find many other places, especially during hard times like last year. Where else do people set records-both in luminosity and safety-in one of the toughest years?
My first permanent job at Fermilab was as a radiation physicist in the ES&H section. Since then, I've helped with the project management of a series of projects: NuMI, MINERvA, SNuMI and, most recently, NOvA. But my initial years in the ES&H section shaped how I approach people and issues. I saw the importance of incorporating safety and quality assurance into designs and work plans from the start.
NuMI was a great ES&H training ground for the entire lab. It presented many issues that stretched our previous experience, such as building a tunnel deep underground and minimizing the low levels of tritium that exist in some ponds on site. Subsequent projects have taught me to make sure that the people working for me understand the important role they play. I have come to view my job as making the jobs of the people who do the real work safer and easier.
I think we can use project management tools to help make Fermilab's ES&H program more efficient. ES&H will soon get its own document database, which will allow for easy document access and updating. I plan to improve the existing ES&H information for project managers and users and the access to it. Many of the proposed future projects--DUSEL, Mu2e and Project X--need a significant ES&H effort, thus it is important to become even more efficient and effective than we are now. Like most division and section heads, I hope we will get a good budget and hire a few people to help support this bright future.
To avoid injuries, we need to take the time to think about what we are doing before we do it, especially during the winter. We have had a tough winter so far, and the accident levels show that. It is important to me, to you and to our families that we all go home without injuries at the end of a day. Let's work together and try to achieve this goal.