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Physics Department Safety Issues. Mike Zarcone January 26, 2012. AGENDA UCLA Researcher – Felony Charges Wearing Safety Glasses in Labs – Area PPE Rennovation Injuries Highlights from this year’s Self-Evaluation Other.

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physics department safety issues

Physics Department Safety Issues

Mike Zarcone

January 26, 2012



  • UCLA Researcher – Felony Charges
  • Wearing Safety Glasses in Labs – Area PPE
  • Rennovation
  • Injuries
  • Highlights from this year’s Self-Evaluation
  • Other
felony charges filed against uc and a ucla chemistry professor after fatal laboratory fire
Felony charges filed against UC and a UCLA chemistry professor after fatal laboratory fire
  • A research assistant was fatally burned when chemicals burst into flame. Her death three years ago has focused attention on safety issues.
felony charges filed against uc and a ucla chemistry professor after fatal laboratory fire1
Felony charges filed against UC and a UCLA chemistry professor after fatal laboratory fire
  • Felony charges have been filed against the University of California and a UCLA chemistry professor in connection with a laboratory fire that killed a staff research assistant three years ago.
  • On Dec. 29, 2008, Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji, 23, was severely burned over nearly half of her body when air-sensitive chemicals burst into flames during an experiment and ignited her clothing. Sangji, who was not wearing a protective lab coat, died 18 days later.
  • Her death raised questions about lab safety practices at UCLA and about Sangji's training and supervision by professor Patrick Harran, a prominent researcher who joined the faculty in July 2008.
  • On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Harran and the UC regents with three counts each of willfully violating occupational health and safety standards, resulting in Sangji's death. Harran and UCLA are accused of failing to correct unsafe work conditions in a timely manner, to require clothing appropriate for the work being done and to provide proper chemical safety training.
  • An arrest warrant was issued for Harran, 42, who faces up to 41/2 years in state prison, according to a district attorney's spokeswoman. Harran is out of town and will surrender to authorities when he returns, said his lawyer, Thomas O'Brien, who declined to comment further.
  • UCLA could be fined up to $1.5 million on each of the three counts. In separate statements Tuesday, UCLA and the regents called the charges unwarranted. UCLA's statement blasted them as "outrageous" and "appalling."
wearing safety glasses in labs
Wearing Safety Glasses in Labs

Area based, not job based

Labs were posted August 1, 2011

Please wear your PPE where required. If an accident were to occur, individuals and PIs would be held accountable.

  • Asbestos Removal
  • Entry into Construction Areas REQUIRE:
    • Safety Glasses
    • Hard Hat
    • High Visibility Vest
    • Foot Protection
injuries fy 2012
Injuries FY 2012
  • Employee passes out in Building 355 – Not occupational
  • Finger laceration
  • Injury Status:
  • BNL FY12 YTD: DART – 6, TRC – 10, First Aid – 18
  • BNL FY11: DART – 28, TRC – 43, First Aid – 46
  • Physics Dept. FY 12: DART – 0, TRC – 0. First Aid – 1
  • Physics Dept. FY 11: DART – 0, TRC – 1. First Aid – 3
highlights from the fy 2011 self evaluation
Highlights from the FY 2011 Self-Evaluation

Accident/Incidents Management:

  • There was one incident, not ORPS reportable, for the fiscal year. There were no PAAA violations.
  • The incident was entry into a TLD Required, Controlled Area by untrained, un-badged people which was discussed with the Group Safety Coordinators and at a Department All Hands meeting.
  • There was 1 DOE (OSHA) recordable case, a DART rate of 0.00 (number of cases/200,000 hours worked), a TRC rate of 0.33 (number of cases/200,000 hours worked) and 3 first aid cases (non-sport related).
  • Other non-reportable things that happened this year were:
    • Temporary loss of Am source
    • Sprinkler valve found in closed position
    • Plywood blowing in the wind
    • Elevated TLD area readings
    • Work performed without ESR awareness
    • Asbestos in ceiling tile glue
    • Worker observed in Machine Shop wearing shorts, working alone with locked doors

Radiation Monitoring

  • Whole body exposures continue to be very low with a total cumulative exposure of 54 mRem for the entire year. This has been the case for the last 5 years where the annual exposures in mRem were 28, 22, 28, 24, and 0 for the calendar years 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 respectively. Doses at the ATF for the complex continue to remain below 100 mRem in all areas except one which was upgraded to a Controlled Area as a precaution even though it is in an unoccupied area.
  • Radiological Training Review Survey
    • If you received it, please fill it out
  • Battery Area –
    • Problems every week!
    • Batteries need to be put in proper containers
    • Batteries need their terminals taped
    • Alkaline batteries can be thrown in trash
    • Don’t bring batteries in from home
    • Contact Ron, Mike, or Joe if you are unsure
tier i program 2011
TIER I Program - 2011

The Tier 1 program worked very well this year but the number of findings rose by about 30% from last year. This is mostly attributed to the > 80 repeat violations attributed to the infrastructure. No situations involving 'imminent danger' were discovered. As can be seen from the chart below, Housekeeping, Working Environment Plant (lighting), Electrical Safety Distribution (daisy chaining, blocked breaker panels), and Electrical Safety: Equipment issues (bad cords) make up 2/3 of the issues, same as last year. Corrective Actions are assigned and tracked to completion. Responses to the corrective actions other than for the infrastructure were timely. Participation was good with Department Chair, Associate Chairs, ESSH Committee Chair and members, PIs, Group Leaders, and Group Safety Coordinator participation.

  • RED = 2010BLUE = 2011

Completed Goals from 2011

  • Coordinate/work plan the moving of personnel prior to renovation so that there are no injuries/accidents - Complete
  • Work with the new FCM, FPM, and lab people to improve the IFM as it relates to Physics - Complete
  • Remove remaining legacy chemical items from labs and storage - Complete
  • Sample vacated labs for lead, cadmium, beryllium, and chromium - Complete
  • Volunteered to replace Hazard Placards – Area designations and PPE required - Complete
  • Get rid of remaining oil pumps from basement - Complete
  • Work with ITD to receive an Authority to Operate for BNL - Complete
  • Continue to meet the cyber security goals of the DOE while maintaining our ability to do science – Complete

Goals for 2012

  • Inspect battery area weekly
  • Roll out the new emergency management plans to occupants of 510, 901, and 355 and have drills to practice them.
  • Review and remove radioactive sealed sources and materials that are non-standard, are types known to leak, or have no path forward at this time or the near future.
  • Look for any safety issues associated with personnel in new environments due to the RSL-II project.
  • Improve compliance with the new area based PPE.
  • Review the corrective actions associated with the 2009 fire at the ATF to assess their effectiveness.
  • Monitor the interface between the construction activities and physics personnel to ensure adherence to the posted rules.