Operations and Maintenance December Newsletter

December Operations and Maintenance Newsletter: Safety








Safety is everyone’s responsibility

Our first consideration in every task, large or small, is the safety of our O&M work force and our customers. You, our customer, play an important role in the execution of your work order. The support you provide assists us in understanding the work order requirements, which is the first step in developing a safe plan for accomplishing your request. With this understanding, the O&M department, working with Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS), can develop a safe approach to ensure your request is being accomplished in the most practical and efficient means possible. FME, EHS, and the scientific community jointly working together promote a safer working environment.

Image of work authorization tag. Click to access the decontamination policy.How can you help us?

Before sending in a work order for the repair of scientific equipment, such as centrifuges, shakers, hoods, incubators, and freezers, we need your help to ensure they are properly decontaminated. The necessary repairs may involve transporting your equipment or device back to our shop, where troubleshooting and dismantling may occur. Let’s make sure we keep our mechanics safe. Click on the tag for more information.

Contact EHS at 301-846-1451 if you are interested in becoming a “Decon Qualified” individual and to sign up for the Laboratory Equipment Decontamination training.

Artist's sketch of equipment decontamination

While working within your laboratory or animal facility, we will communicate, coordinate, and schedule necessary activities to complete your preventative maintenance or repair task. We ask for your awareness and cooperation to observe barriers, warning signage, or tape indicating active work places. This is for your protection.

Image of caution tape

The Don’ts in Safety
Don’t assume safety is someone else’s job
Don’t ignore a safety hazard
Don’t become overconfident with jobs you’ve done many times
Don’t use equipment in ways they were not intended
Don’t get pressured by others into ignoring safety procedures
Don’t take shortcuts on the job

Image of safety notepad and caution signThe Mindset of Safety

An often-overlooked aspect of safety is your attitude. A negative attitude towards safety can impact job performance and increases your chance of getting injured. Maintaining a positive attitude will help reinforce the importance of safety procedures.

How to Stay Positive about Safety:

  • Follow all safety rules at all times. The rules are there for everybody’s safety.
  • Take responsibility for your own safety. Report any injuries to a supervisor immediately.
  • Be serious about safety, and do not take shortcuts!
  • Look out for hazards, potential or real; be aware of your surroundings; and report near misses. A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage—but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality, or damage.
  • Near misses can be reported by anyone through SIIMS: https://ncifrederick.cancer.gov/Ehs/IssueMgmt/Inspection
  • Use all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Listen and learn about the safety protocols in the workplace.

EHS Website: https://ncifrederick.cancer.gov/Ehs/Default.aspx

Click the link below for additional in-depth information about FME: https://ncifrederick.cancer.gov/services/fme


Contact the Help Desk
Phone: 301-846-1068