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Safety Committee Meeting

February 26, 2009


X Attendees

Committee Member



Ira Janowitz

EH&S Liaison


Cheryl Fragiadakis

Dir/Tech Transfer/Patents


Dan Twohey

Operations Business Manager


Andrea Faizi

Dir/Internal Audit


Eileen Nasto



Anil More



Elizabeth Reyes

Ops/Safety Coordinator


Nancy Saxer



Sharon Reineman

 Dir/Tech Transfer/Patents


Vera Potapenko



Jeffrey Fernandez

Dir/Ops/Senior Mgmt.


Anita Gursahani



Edith Perry



Christine Santiago

HR/ HR Asst


John Chernowski

Dir/Institutional Assurance







Minutes Taker: Edith Perry and Christine Santiago



Safety Statistics - Review

Betsy Reyes distributed copies of LBNL First Aid and Recordable Cases in Directorate/Operations for the first and second quarter.

  • There were four recordables in OCFO, three of which were ergonomic injuries and one slip and fall. All ergonomics injuries were related to the furniture identified by Facilities as standard for the Lab. 
  • One of the challenges that the ergonomics team faces is being consumed with cases where underlying issues exist, such as performance management. They’re unable to dedicate as much time to people who genuinely needs it.  Generally four to five percent of the workforce that has ergonomic issues develops into a workers’ compensation case. The vast majority really wants to work and it would be ideal to spend time with these people other than those with performance issues.
  • We’ll need to consider involving Human Resources when there appears to be performance management issues related to some of these work-injury cases.  John Chernowski mentioned that sometimes these cases can be reclassified if it is determined that the cause of an injury is related to other issues.
  • Injuries are also occurring because people aren’t comfortable with taking their breaks in order to accommodate their workload.


Furniture Standards

People who were affected by the move had to use the new standard workspace furniture and this resulted in two recordables and discomfort for approximately ten to twelve people.

Ira Janowitz prepared and distributed an outline (including pictures) of the ergonomics factors underlying recent CFO recordables in building 76.  The outlines address issues presented by the furniture, corrective actions and goals. Below were topics of discussion:

Sit-to-stand furniture

o        An employee hurt herself when accidentally hitting a lever underneath a desk causing the table to fall on her knees. Over time, her wrist began to hurt from constantly raising the table back up. Ira had a meeting with the vendors to talk about these issues and the manufacturer representative couldn’t figure out why the table would drop and how to fix the problem.

o        The standing feature doesn’t adjust high enough for the majority of the people because there isn’t enough metal installed in the furniture. However, more metal will cause a bigger knee knocker issue. An alternative would be to install a hand crank to help adjust furniture.

o        It was suggested that Mike White should be the approver for purchasing the sit and stand furniture.

Other furniture

o        The rolling cabinet/seat isn’t functional when it’s full because it’s unable to roll.


Follow-up Actions (from the previous meeting)


Walkaround Checklist

Feedback & suggestions regarding the Walkaround Checklist are continuing to be received.


Walkways Cleaning

Betsy contacted Facilities to see if the grounds can be cleared more regularly in areas where slip and fall accidents occur. Steve Blair in Facilities informed her that for every significant wind or rain storm, the gardeners make it a first priority to drive through the entire site and clear walkways of any debris. Otherwise, the walkways are cleaned on an “as-needed” basis. However, if there are areas that are not clear, employees can put in a work request.


Near Hit Report/Lessons Learned

Betsy Reyes distributed a Near Hit Report Pamphlet that includes the ISM Plan, a report form, and explanations & procedures for reporting a near hit or precursor.

  • It was suggested to change the name “near hit” to “near miss or good catch”


The next DIR/OPS Safety Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday March 26, 2009 

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm   Location:  50B-4205


Summary of DIR/OPS Safety Committee Action Items:


Action Recorded






Action Taken/Add’l Action(s)



Schedule a meeting with Laura Chen and the Ergonomics team to discuss Lab furniture standard.








Is this the furniture purchased for new CFO offices?








Contact Facilities to see if grounds can be cleared more regularly in areas where slip & fall accidents are occurring. Get a map of these areas.



Betsy Reyes







Safety Initiatives: Review current safety checklist for supervisors and send suggested questions for employees to Betsy




Committee Members









Safety Initiatives: Develop safety orientation program for DIR/OPS new employees and guests.


Betsy Reyes





Safety Initiatives: Safety Buddy Program. More discussion needed to determine its viability.







Discuss sharing best practices and other information at next Division Safety Coordinator meeting.


Betsy Reyes





Send Dan Twohey ideas on improving safety.


Betsy Reyes





Betsy will bring copies of MSD Near Hit program pamphlets to the next meeting.

Betsy Reyes




More discussion/analysis needed on the pedestrian sign by 65A.






Develop a Committee Charter





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Last updated: March 26, 2009