Be Sensitive to Individual Background Factors that May Impact Safety. Investigators from around the globe travel to LBNL to work as guests, students, post docs and employees. They bring with them diverse cultures, backgrounds, experiences and expectations, which can occasionally make it difficult for them to adapt to the safety expectations at the Lab. In particular, we have observed that new researchers from other countries are sometimes inhibited by cultural or other factors in their willingness to ask for help or additional resources they need to work safely. Some may regard asking for help or resources as potentially offensive or impolite. This mindset has lead to injuries and explosions in MSD over the last 8 years.
MSD0010, the Division's new employee training class, addresses this issue in detail, with the intent of empowering new researchers to be assertive in asking that all of their safety needs be fulfilled. In class, we review several incidents in the Division and a famous case from commercial aviation where unwillingness to ask for help or resources lead to serious accidents.
Everyone in the Division should remain alert to situations where people they work with may not be willing to speak openly about their safety or resource concerns. While this seems to be most common among new people in the Division, it can occur among more experienced researchers as their situation evolves. Supervisors, in particular, should be sensitive to this and work to ensure everyone in their group feels comfortable speaking up if they lack necessary assistance, training, facilities, equipment or materials.
-Rick Kelly, x4088