Hazards of Elastic Tie-Downs (Bungee Cords)
Elastic (bungee) cords are common, inexpensive tools used for a variety of fastening applications. They can be safe if their use is planned and evaluated. However, a recent injury points out the hazard potential of these common tools.
It's not unusual for experiment needs to change, and beam time to be limited while conducting research at the NSLS. Unfortunately, these factors, and several other contributing factors, converged recently and adversely affected an experimenter. The result was a hand injury that required a trip to the hospital, and sutures.
Timely and Clear Communication is Essential for Success
The NSLS is a complex facility and work on systems often requires coordination between different functional groups within the department. A key component of that coordination and planning is clear communications.
Inspections of Step Stools, Ladder Stands, and Portable Ladders
There are times when we all need to reach something that is not accessible from the ground level. It could be something just out of reach, so we use a step stool. Or, it could be higher. In those cases we would need to use a ladder stand (a self-supported, portable set of steps), or portable ladder. Any of these devices require inspection prior to each use.
Even a Splinter Can Provide Lessons Learned
Recently, a colleague of ours was walking along an aisle in a work area. One side of the aisle was bordered by a wooden crate. The worker's thigh brushed up against the lid of the crate. A wooden splinter entered his right thigh, through his jeans. He removed the splinter, which was about 1" long, and continued working. He did not visit BNL's Occupational Medicine Clinic (OMC) at the time because he believed that he had removed the entire splinter and the injury did not warrant a visit to the OMC.
Human Performance Analysis of Liquid Nitrogen Spill
A review of a recent incident at NSLS, as well as historical events, shows that communication and self checking are crucial to avoiding Human Performance Error Traps.