May 2000


Raising the SIT banner

P&E groups are conspicuously dedicated to safety improvement

ORNL’s Safety Improvement Team, a collection of representatives from work groups in the Plant and Equipment Division, continues to gather momentum in creating a safer workplace. The team has literally bannered its mission: Shops and gathering places throughout ORNL are displaying eight-foot broadsides advertising the Safety Improvement Team and the “work together safely” message.

'It does matter'
Here are some of the slogans the work groups have created for their Safety Improvement Team banners.

“Today’s safety is tomorrow’s future”—Day Shift Janitors
“Stay alert—don’t get hurt. Integrated Safety Management”—7012 Sheet Metal Shop
“Follow good safety habits, practice is proof”—Environmental Sciences Division Maintenance Services
“Family, friends, co-workers, we need you. ISM (it does matter)—ORNL Insulators
“Teamwork is the catalyst that yields excellence from shared strength”—7012 Machine Shop
“Talk more about safety, hear less about accidents”—Roads and Grounds
“Safety is top of the line”—Field Services

The banners are customized for each work group, which contributes its own slogan. They’ve been erected so far in conspicuous locations throughout the Lab—in machine shops, break areas and on the sides of buildings.

One P&E group, the Sign Art Shop, which produces the banners, has even customized its own for its shop at Building 7007.

The Safety Improvement Team is a collaborative effort of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and the P&E Division aimed at improving safety on the job. Representatives from work crews take suggestions on safety-related issues and initiate action on them. The banners, says ATLC safety rep Jeff Hill, reinforce a sense of employee ownership of the SIT.

The Plant and Equipment Division's Sign Art Shop, where the Safety Improvement Team banners are created, has its own. Displaying it recently are P&E's David White, Lab Director Bill Madia, ATLC Vice President Ed Mee, artist Brenda Norvell, P&E Division Director Jerry Hammontree, ESH&Q Director Kelly Beierschmitt and P&E's Gene Moody.
“Each crew has its own banner with its own slogan, which conveys the message that safety really belongs at the grassroots level. It’s everybody’s job to work safely,” Hill says.

Kelly Beierschmitt, who recently assumed the mantle of director of Environment, Safety, Health and Quality at the Lab, echoes Hill’s views on the importance of the workers’ involvement in safety, which is also a key aspect of Integrated Safety Management.

“I applaud the efforts of the Safety Improvement Teams,” says Beierschmitt. “Worker ownership for safety is a critical element for ES&H success; and the Safety Improvement Team, through their recent banner initiative, is an excellent example of empowered workers making safety personal and doing the right things.”

Lab Director Bill Madia, ATLC Vice President Ed Mee and P&E Division Director Jerry Hammontree recently visited the Sign Art Shop to see the banner of the crew that paints the banners. Madia, whose UT-Battelle team stresses Integrated Safety Management, agreed that the banners, with their work-crew ownership, can help drive home the message of safety on the job.

“The big thing is awareness,” he says. “It’s like driving to work: You do it so many times that you go on autopilot, and that’s when accidents happen. But if you are thinking about being safe, you are going to be safe.”—B.C.