Berkeley Lab

Safety Day, Wednesday, 23 March 2016

On March 23, ATAP held its second annual Safety Day, emphasizing de-cluttering and organization this time. The day began with a kickoff meeting, followed by a morning of all-hands cleanup. Shelf after shelf of old reports and magazines and catalogues became multiple wheelie-bins of recyclable paper. Earthquake-refuge space appeared under desks as people concluded that they never were going to get around to upgrading that Windows 98 computer. Metal-recycling bins became heavy with scrap, and disused equipment was dispatched to the excess-property center.

In the afternoon came QUEST evaluations of the results by 15 Quality Assurance, Environment, and Safety Teams, followed by management walkthroughs. More than 100 concerns and suggestions that required more time and planning, special skills, or expenditure were documented by the QUEST teams for follow-up.

For an investment of less than one-half of one percent of the work year, the payoff was impressive in terms of immediate safety benefits alone, as well as the improved efficiency of a tidy workspace. The Labwide Cleanup website has pictures from this and similar events in other divisions, along with other resources for conducting cleanups.

Kickoff Message from ATAP Director Wim Leemans


With safety as our top priority in ATAP, we are holding a Safety Day throughout the Division.

Safety Day is a chance to step aside from our busy routines and take a fresh look at safety. This year we will especially emphasize the tidiness, organization, and safety of our offices, labs, shops, and common areas. After an all-hands meeting to get things started, the morning will be for physical cleanup; in the afternoon we will, among other things, have a QUEST Team (Quality Assurance, Environment, and Safety) walkthrough.

Between now and Safety Day, we will be back in touch with the detailed agenda, team organization, and resources.

All Hazards, All Spaces

The primary emphasis will be on tidiness, reduction of clutter, quake readiness, proper storage and labeling of chemicals, etc. in office, lab, and shop spaces. However, anything in and around our buildings is fair game. Keep your eyes open and look for trouble!

Things that we can take care of immediately (and safely, staying within our skill sets) we will fix on the spot. Problems that are not feasible to fix immediately, and larger-scale suggestions that call for time and money and planning, will be officially noted and scheduled for later action.

All Hands
I expect us all to join in unless travel has already been scheduled or illness prevents participation, so please block out March 23 on your calendar and plan on being part of the communal effort.

All Day
This will be an all-day stand-down for everyone who reports to ATAP or is matrixed to us. The only work we will perform that day will be cleanup, QUEST walkthroughs, and other tasks relevant to environment, safety, and health.

An entire day devoted to safety may seem like a lot — but it is less than 0.5% of the work year and we all have to do our part to keep work areas clean and safe for science.

What’s next?
We’ll be back in touch with further details, and will post resources on this site. In the meanwhile, you can get ready by saving the date (Wednesday, March 23, 2016) and glancing around your workspace with fresh eyes: What can be better organized; sent to Excess or recycling or the trash; or improved?

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact ATAP EH&S Coordinator Pat Thomas at or x6098. I look forward to investing a day that will pay dividends in the form of safety throughout 2016 and beyond.

Safety Day Resources


QUEST Team Assignments, 2-3 pm, revised Monday at close of business

Management Walkaround_Assignments, 3-4 pm, revised Monday at close of business

ATAP Clean-up Guide 032316

27 pages, including information on how to perform Safety Day tasks safely, who to contact for more information or help with special problems, and extensive topic-specific guides to dealing with specific items of EH&S concern that you might encounter during cleanup.

Checklist from ATAP Clean-up Guide 032316

Just page 4 of the clean-up guide.

New QUEST Checklists

   5.3.1. Checklist for Offices (rev. 8 March 2016): .doc , .pdf
   5.3.2. Checklist for Labs (rev. 8 March 2016): .doc, .pdf
   5.3.3. Checklist for Shops (rev. 8 March 2016): .doc , .pdf