Joining ATAP in this annual event were Berkeley Lab’s Engineering Division; the Applied Physics and Superconducting Technology Division and the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project team at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL); and the Magnet Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).

The 2023 Multi-Lab Safety Week saw colleagues from the three national labs participate simultaneously and contribute to informative seminars and included three SAFE Workshops—an experiential learning program that teaches fundamental skills for managing safety challenges, communication, team dynamics, and psychological safety.

The themes for the 2023 Multi-lab Safety Week were:

  • Housekeeping and Completion of On-the-Job Training
  • Ongoing Learning and Education
    • Seminars on Electrical Safety and Fall Protection
    • SAFE @ Berkeley Lab — an experiential learning workshop

Michael Brandt, Deputy Laboratory Director and Chief Operating Officer of Berkeley Lab, kicked off the week on Monday, October 2, 2023, with an overview of the history and evolution of safety culture at the Lab and how this culture adapted to pandemic conditions. One of the key messages Brandt delivered was the importance of workplace resilience and adaptability to manage and maintain a healthy safety culture.

Asmita Patel, ATAP’s Deputy Division Director for Operations, provided an overview of the evolution of Safety Day to Safety Week and how this now-annual event evolved from ATAP and then multiple divisions at Berkeley Lab to include participants from various national labs.

“While the week focused on safety,” said Patel, “our goal is to strive to sustain a culture that emphasizes and promotes safety on an ongoing effort throughout the year at work and home. Safety is an expectation for everyone.”

ATAP Division Director Cameron Geddes spoke of the “importance of making safety integral to everything we do and outlined the aims and objectives of Safety Week.”

Henrik von Der Lippe, director of the Engineering Division at Berkeley Lab, focused on the Integrated Safety Management course available to employees as part of their training efforts. Berkeley Lab’s Maria Nappi, Director of the Environment, Health & Safety Division, delivered closing remarks highlighting the value of this grassroots effort. The event was attended by over 300 participants across the three labs.

“The Multi-Lab Safety Week took an enormous amount of planning, coordination, and dedication from the representatives from all three national labs,” said Nappi. “What makes it even more special and effective is that it has always been a grass-roots effort, not something crafted by Environment, Health & Safety. Kudos to the team for all their hard work to provide another flawless Safety Week.”

Attendance was strong again on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, with 250 participants hearing from Nappi and Subject Matter Experts Ari Harding (Berkeley Lab), David Mertz (FNAL), and Eric Johannsen (BNL) present on “Electrical Safety – Lessons Learned.”

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 180 participants attended the “Managing Fall Protection – Working from Heights” seminar delivered by Subject Matter Experts Kevin Goodwin (Berkeley Lab), Paul Satti (FNAL), and Mike Gaffney (BNL).

Three SAFE Workshops (September 26, September 27, and October 5) were held during the 2023 Multi-Lab Safety Week. Joanna Martinez, Sr., leadership development specialist, learning and culture office at Berkley Lab, led the workshops with facilitators May Estrella from Human Resources and Chris Georgiou, Pat Thomas, and Asmita Patel from ATAP. They were completed by 80 individuals and included LBNL, FNAL, and BNL attendees.

The workshops aim to:

  • Create positive agents of safety and change within the Berkeley Lab community
  • Promote a culture of physical and psychological safety across all areas of the Lab.
  • Managing safety challenges and implementing key protocols/behaviors
  • Assessing safety hazards, risks, and contingencies; problem-solving accordingly
  • Fostering constructive team communication and dynamics

The week-long event closed with a fun trivia game, Not Jeopardy, on Friday, October 6, 2023. The game allowed the hundred participants to test their safety knowledge, learn more about their sister labs, and brush up on this year’s blockbuster movies—Oppenheimer and Barbie!

From Safety Day to Safety Week to Multi-Lab Safety Week

Multi-Lab Safety Week builds on the successful tradition of Safety Day, which ATAP first implemented on a pilot basis in 2015 to introduce the concept of focusing a full day on safety-related activities. The pilot was very successful, so ATAP organized a full-fledged effort in 2016. The day was led by Asmita Patel and Pat Thomas, Division Safety Coordinator, with assistance from the ATAP Operations team, Environmental Health and Safety Division colleagues, and Facilities Division and Property Management team support. “It was truly a team effort and a resounding success, with the division’s employees saying it was a great team-building opportunity,” noted Patel.

In 2017, Berkeley Lab’s Engineering Division joined ATAP for the annual Safety Day event. The following year, ATAP led a Physical Sciences Area-wide Safety Day with participation from the Physics and Engineering Divisions and the Advanced Light Source Upgrade (ALS-U) Project. Safety Day’s focus in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 was housekeeping and completion of On-The-Job Training (OJT).

In 2019, the Safety Day focus expanded to include safety-themed seminars as part of ongoing learning and education. Safety Day Individual and Team awards were also included in recognition of those dedicated employees who went above and beyond to help colleagues in safety-related activities and for their outstanding contributions.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited entry for employees to the site, in 2021, Safety Day transitioned to Safety Week to provide flexibility to participate in all the activities. ATAP led the Physical Sciences Area-wide Safety Week, including the Physics and Engineering Divisions and ALS-U project participants. The weeklong event included three safety-themed seminars and a close-out trivia game—Not Jeopardy.

In 2022, ATAP led the inaugural Multi-Lab Safety Week, with participants from Berkeley Lab’s Engineering Division and ALS-U Project joined by colleagues from the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider Upgrade Project at Fermilab and the Magnet Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Leveraging ATAP’s Safety Week efforts, the event was a success.

The 2022 Multi-Lab Safety Week focus was housekeeping and OJT and included three safety-themed seminars with speakers from all three participating national labs (Berkeley Lab, Fermilab, and Brookhaven National Laboratory). The seminars allowed participants to learn from incidents and share best practices from each lab.

2023 Multi-Lab Safety Week Honors Top Performers

The success of our annual Safety Weeks is built on an all-hands effort, but each year, some stand out for exceptional dedication and the quality of their contributions. To promote ongoing safety-culture awareness and maintain the momentum of Safety Week, we honor an outstanding individual worker and the top-performing team for exceptional safety and organization efforts.

Individual Award

Yilun Xu, a research scientist in the Berkeley Accelerator Controls and Instrumentation (BACI) Program, received the individual award, honoring the person most helpful to others in Multi-Lab Safety Week efforts.

Yilun Xu, 2023 Multi-Lab Safety Week individual award winner. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

His co-workers reported that he more than lived up to his reputation as a dependable year-round contributor to ATAP safety efforts. During this year’s Multi-Lab Safety Week, Yilun went the extra mile cleaning and organizing the Beam Electrodynamics Group (BEG) lab in room 71-170. He also led QUEST (Quality Assurance/Improvement and Environment Safety & Health through Self-Assessment and Teamwork) clean-up and self-assessment efforts for the BACI offices and labs in Building 71.

Team Award

Team honors go to the teams representing the Buildings 46 and 47 offices and shops for the Superconducting Magnet Program for their performance in work-area cleanup and their commitment to workplace safety. Their tasks involved areas where a wide variety of magnet design, fabrication, and testing work is underway. They were selected for this honor by division management after final walkthroughs and reports from all the teams were given.

The team includes Christian Messe, Chris Reis, Michele Pixa, Ye Yang, Lucas Brouwer, Mariusz Juchno, Ray Hafalia, Jim Swanson, Diego Arbelaez, Jose Luis Rudeiros Fernandez, Ryan Norris, Anjana Saravanan, GianLuca Sabbi, Chet Spencer, and Li Wang.

2023 Multi-Lab Safety Week team award winners.

These honors resulted from pleasantly difficult decisions in assessing the excellent contributions of so many people across the three laboratories. Let’s aim to maintain the momentum on Safety Week’s themes of clean and well-organized workspaces and up-to-date training and have another year of doing great science safely.

“Thank you to the organizing committee and all those who contributed to another successful Safety Week,” said ATAP Director Cameron Geddes. “And congratulations and thank you to the award winners for their outstanding efforts in ensuring safety is front and center in our work.”

Click here for resources, checklists, and self-assessments for the 2023 Multi-Lab Safety Week.