[ RadSafe ] High court backs 'sloshed' trucker

Mercado, Don don.mercado at lmco.com
Thu Dec 8 11:40:03 CST 2005

Cindy Bloom wrote:

 "All that safety stuff" is to help us avoid situations 
where it is "all that hazardous."

The problem comes when it *can't* be "all that hazardous." Safety stuff
is supplied to comfort the employees and can't provide additional
protection. The RF *can't* be hazardous, but the employees complain to
the union and upper management if they don't get all these layers of
safety for something that they -perceive- may harm them. I've explained
until I'm blue in the face, brought in outside consultants, etc. that
the stuff isn't harmful, but they still think its going to kill them. It
was relatively easy to provide the safety stuff, temporarily assuage
their fears, so it was done. I've resisted the additional layers of
safety as unnecessary, expensive, and increases the chance of a
human-in-the-loop failure of the system. That has happened and it
decreases credibility of the system, which requires more fixes, more
complexity and more chances of failure, and on and on. It is difficult
to be a safety guy and say, "No, don't give it to them." I try, but it
doesn't always work.

Providing safety equipment when it isn't necessary is alarmist and
overemphasizes the relative risk of the hazard. Its like putting up lead
walls for a lab that only handles uCi quantities of Fe-55. Kind of like
being an anti-nuke!

"But it is also 
important to counsel those workers, who are extremely uncomfortable with

the idea of a given risk, to consider looking/training for a type of 
employment that does not include the risk of concern.  It's important to

remind people that worrying about risk can be a health risk in itself,

Who wants to represent management and tell a union worker that they
can't have safety equipment, their phobias may be the source of their
ills, and if that makes them uncomfortable to go find another job? ;^)


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