Safety Suggestion Leads to Ventilation in the Bay View Cafe
Margie Wylie of Computing Sciences has been recognized with SPOT Award for best CS Safety Suggestion or Near Miss for September-December 2011. Wylie noticed that the grill in the Berkeley Lab's Bay View Cafe was inadequately vented, which allowed smoke and cooking aerosols to hang think in the air—a health hazard to the grill workers, as well as everyone visiting the cafe.
Upon noticing this hazard, Wylie contacted the Computing Sciences Safety Coordinator, who submitted the issue to Berkeley Lab's Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Safety Concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org). EHS put in a work order to have Facilities check the ventilation in the cafeteria and the grill. A week later, Facilities found that the exhaust fan was not functioning. They fixed the fan and now the ventilation is running properly.
Safety Suggestion Leads Secure ISO-Base Supports
David Stewart of NERSC has been recognized with a SPOT Award for best
CS Safety Suggestion or Near Miss for May-August 2011. Last year, computer racks were moved to the NERSC Division's Oakland Scientific Facility computer room from another facility. Staff who installed the racks in the new location were unfamiliar with ISO-Base seismic isolation platforms, and did not understand the need to secure the computer racks to the platforms. The newly-installed racks were loaded with equipment and powered up, fully operational.
As Stewart was working on one of the racks, he dropped a screw. In the process of retrieving it, he noticed that three newly-installed computer racks had not been secured to their ISO-Base seismic support platforms, and the rack feet had not been lowered into place to lift the racks off their wheels. This meant that horizontal force could have caused the racks to tip, or even roll off the ISO-Base supports. Stewart stopped work immediately and alerted the Facility staff. Facility staff secured the three racks by promptly lowering the feet and attaching webbing from each ISO-Base platform to the rack feet. They checked all racks in the computer room to make sure that all were secure. NERSC also developed an ISO-Base installation procedure to educate staff on proper procedures.
Read more about this near miss at: https://isswprod.lbl.gov/lessonslearned/browse/preview.aspx?id=1532
Pedestrian Crossing Sign Removed
A Computational Research
Division employee has been
recognized with a SPOT
Award for the best CS Safety
Suggestion or Near Miss for
January-April, 2011: Dan
Martin reported a dangerous
situation for cyclists heading
up Cyclotron Road. The mid-road "pedestrian crossing"
sign in a pedestrian crosswalk
created a "pinch point" for
vehicles passing cyclists.
Drivers would try to squeeze
back to the right side of the
road, impacting cyclists, in
order to get past the sign.
A "pedestrian crossing" sign had been installed in the crosswalk located between the Blackberry Gate and Building 65 to get drivers to stop for pedestrians, but had the unintended consequence of making it difficult for vehicles to pass cyclists traveling uphill. One driver even pulled all the way into the oncoming traffic lane, on this blind curve, in order to avoid hitting the sign.
Efforts to have the pedestrian crossing sign removed paid off when Facilities announced removal of the sign on June 8, 2011. This makes the Lab safer for both cyclists and drivers.
Trever Nightingale of NERSC has been recognized with a SPOT Award for the best CS Safety Suggestion for September-December, 2010. Nightingale reported a Near Miss where a server came close to hitting his head during installation in a rack. When the rack was originally installed, the servers were shorter, and maneuvering them was not so difficult. Because the rack is installed flush with the wall in a server room, and secured to the floor for seismic bracing, it cannot be readily moved.
There have been several injuries related to installing equipment into racks, or installing the racks themselves. Computer room safety training includes a section on safety considerations for racking equipment:
• Awareness of sharp edges
• Coordination with co-workers
• Making sure hands are clear
• Checking for loose objects before moving equipment
• Use of server lifts
However, difficulty related to rack location should be addressed by management. NERSC is emptying the rack which is located flush with the wall. It will remain empty, or will be used for smaller, lighter equipment which can be installed safely. NERSC will ensure that racks can be serviced either with a two person rule or a server lift.
NERSC's Computer Room
A NERSC Division employee has been recognized with a SPOT Award for the best CS Safety Suggestion or Near Miss for July-August, 2010: Rei Lee of the Storage Systems Group identified an issue with cardboard occasionally piling up in the computer room as new systems arrived.
The cardboard posed a potential safety issue and Rei suggested that the cardboard be regularly removed from the area. As a result, NERSC has added metal storage bins, removes excess material regularly, and stores supplies in metal cabinets. The suggestions not only reduce the potential fire hazard posed by stacks of cardboard and pallets, but also ensure that aisles and exits are not blocked by accumulated material.
"Protection of our computer equipment is a priority for NERSC, and better storage for and prompt removal of packing materials will improve NERSC safety," says Katherine Yelick, Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences.
Pit Stairway Improvements
Computing Sciences staff recently reported that many of the lights on the pit stairs were not working, and that several of the steps were dangerously unstable. These issues were entered into the Corrective Action Tracking System, and after interim repairs to the stairway lights, an entirely new lighting system was installed. The steps have been made stable, and are awaiting more permanent repair.
The three CRD employees who reported the pit stairway problems have been nominated for SPOT Awards, for their pro-active response to the ongoing issues with the pit stairway. A majority of recent Computing Science injuries have been related to trips and falls, including one event on the B70 stairs leading to the cafeteria, and a second event on the stairs to the B51 upper parking lot.
In the case of the B51 parking lot stairs, the streetlight in the area had been turned off, and the area was completely dark.The CS Lessons Learned report on the B70 stairway incident can be read at: http://isswprod.lbl.gov/lessonslearned/browse/preview.aspx?id=902