May 31, 2007

One Year Anniversary

Note especially: "30 percent fewer injuries than in the prior year," "student pipeline," "expanded drug-testing and physical searches," "summer picnic" (to help morale continue to soar), and much, much more ...


From/MS: Michael R. Anastasio, A100
Phone/Fax: 7-5101/5-2679
Symbol: DIR-07-148
Date: May 24, 2007

Subject: June 1 Anniversary

June 1 marks a year since Los Alamos National Security, LLC,
assumed the management and operating contract for the Laboratory
-- a year since I had the honor of becoming your director. It has
been a year of challenges and successes. We have met mission
milestones, made significant improvements in safety and security,
garnered recognition of our outstanding science, and developed 12
institutional goals that will help ensure our future.

We have a clear vision: Los Alamos, the premier national
security science laboratory for the 21st century. At the end of
our first year together, we have overcome many obstacles and made
substantial progress to realize our vision. I am proud of your
hard work. While it's been a tough year, it's been a good year,
and I encourage you to take time to reflect. I began part of
that reflection today when I discussed with reporters the
following few examples that illustrate our notable achievements:

We've boosted our efficiency and effectiveness

* We absorbed increased costs without sacrificing mission or
our commitment to employees
* We improved physical security and cyber security by
reducing risks and eliminated and consolidated our
classified material
- We cut CREM by 30 percent
- We reduced classified computing systems by a fifth
- We reduced the number of vault-type rooms by 15 percent
- We expanded drug-testing and physical searches
* We dramatically improved safety -- with 30 percent fewer
injuries than in the prior year
* We began a new era of fully contained high-explosive DARHT tests
* We witnessed the successful launch of the Cibola Flight Experiment

We plan and act for a successful and sustainable future

* We've adopted 12 large-scale, long-term goals and concrete
commitments toward achieving them, such as:
- Successfully launching the first phase of the
Roadrunner supercomputer
- Launching a Super Vault Type Room prototype effort
* We launched Performance Based Leadership, an effort to
improve leadership Labwide, and Human Performance
Improvement, a leading approach to minimizing risk and
maximizing performance
* We launched a Labwide process improvement effort
* We continue to focus on our student pipeline to recruit and
retain the best and the brightest for our future.

We're more accountable and reliable than ever

* We added dimensions of oversight and accountability
- A demanding and expert Board of Governors
- A Contractor Assurance System
- Accountability to our colleagues and employees
through Performance-Based Leadership
* We met 103 out of 104 New Mexico Environment Department
Consent Order deliverables on time and have since completed
the outstanding action
* We have a Community Commitment Plan focused on education,
economic development, and community giving
- We more than doubled the Lab's United Way contribution -- to
$1.5 million this year

I will review the past year and discuss our future at an All
Employee meeting during the week of June 11. I will also be
sharing our successes and our plan for the future with the
Northern New Mexico community later this summer.

In addition, we are planning a summer picnic to thank all of you
for your efforts on behalf of the nation and to give us all the
chance to relax and mingle with coworkers. Watch Links for more

As I have said before, I am excited about what lies ahead for the
Laboratory. The best is yet to come. Certainly there will be
challenges, but working as a team, we will continue to
anticipate, innovate, and deliver the outstanding science that
matters for the security of our nation.


Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed it is easy to have 30% less injuries when you are doing 80% less experimental work!

Anonymous said...

And reporting 30% fewer incidents, aka cooking the books.

Anonymous said...

Hey - has anyone else heard about all the ADs and upper-muckity-mucks behind tied up in re-org meetings? I heard that the Lab IS being re-orged and Terry wants any and all science-related efforts under his control. Mallory was fighting him but now that Mallory is going to be PAD-OPS, there really is nothing to stop Terry from ruining science at this Lab. Just curious if anyone else knows anything.

Anonymous said...

they're not cooking the books .... they just CLASSIFY accidents and injuries and such differently so the the numbers don't APPEAR in the reports.

and this is always the problem with NUMBERS as being the final product of these accident charts.... they mean nothing.... yet they will ballyhoo the 30% reduction figure to make themselves look good despite the fact that there is no real difference in actual number of injuries or accidents.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:05pm: bullshit.

Pinky and The Brain said...

What exactly qualifies as an injury? Is there a way to check if someone you know was injured is being counted in the statistics? And why is there no mention of accidents? Were there more accidents but fewer "injuries" than last year?

Anonymous said...

exactly right.... if all they report are numbers and percentages then it's all meaningless....

is the data retrievable?

Anonymous said...

OSHA has fairly clear guidelines of what counts as a recordable occupational injury. If you close a cut with a bandaid or steri-strips, it's "first aid" but if you use sutures, it's a recordable injury. If you get stung by a bee during your lunchtime walk, or you burn yourself on the cup of coffee you just reheated in the microwave, it's not "occupational."

I just can't believe LANS has achieved a 30% reduction in injuries simply by setting a goal to do so. I would like to see the statistics on types of injuries that are being recorded. If ergo injuries have gone down (easy to fake, and easy to blame on the workplace), and if the "non-occupational" injuries have gone down, while cuts and sprains remain steady, then I'd guess it's a change in our approach to recordability.

If ALL injury types are decreasing, then I might, just might believe that this data is real.

Anonymous said...

Private executives hired at Livermore nuclear lab

Laboratory will focus more on national security
By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER
Inside Bay Area

For the first time, executives from private industry are taking places in the upper ranks of Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons lab, in some cases pushing aside career managers for the University of California.

Lab director George Miller on Wednesday named Bechtel Vice President Steve Liedle as his second in command and six other executives from the San Francisco-based engineering giant and other private firms to key lab positions over business operations, safety, nuclear operations, facilities and more.

To make way, high-ranking executives of the lab — among them, nonproliferation and homeland security chief Ray Juzaitis, safety and environmental director William Bookless, associate director at large Bruce Warner, even human resources director and former lab counsel Jan Tulk — no longer would be listed as top managers when the new UC/Bechtel-led team takes charge in October. They along with all other lab staff in good standing will be offered jobs within the next six weeks, Miller said.

The lab's small yet respected Energy and Environmental Directorate disappeared altogether, subsumed under a new program called "global security" that includes everything from homeland security to nonproliferation policy and intelligence analysis on foreign weapons of mass destruction, all gathered under a former Army general and Battelle Vice President John Doesburg.

Those areas and other unclassified research are expected to grow rapidly and become as much a part of the lab's bottom line as its bread-and-butter mission of designing and maintaining nuclear weapons, according to Miller.

"I think our belief is that the laboratory over the next decade or so is going to become much more balanced than it currently is. It's probably two-thirds or so nuclear stuff right now," he said, predicting "much more balance, a fifty-fifty kind of a deal" with more work devoted to homeland security, climate science and developing sources of clean energy and water.

"The sense of the laboratory was that many of these energy and environmental issues were going to become important to the future of the country and to the future of the globe," Miller said. "We believe all of these fall under the rubric of global security not just defense."

The management shakeup makes clear, however, that nuclear weapons remain front and center at Livermore. Under Miller and Liedle are five principal associate directors, and two of them — Bruce Goodwin over weapons and complex integration, and Ed Moses over the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science — are funded chiefly by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the nuclear weapons arm of the U.S. Energy Department. The other principal associates include former Bell Labs physicist Cherry Murray remaining over science and technology; Bechtel Vice President Frank Russo over operations and business; and Battelle's Doesburg over global security.

More changes are to come lower down the management chain. But above Miller is a board of directors much like the one overseeing Livermore's sister lab, Los Alamos, led by university regent Gerald Parsky and Bechtel President Tom Hash, with such other members as former Clinton Defense Secretary Bill Perry, Stanford physicist Sidney Drell and a former National Nuclear Security Administration head, Gen. John Gordon.

Contact Ian Hoffman at

Anonymous said...

Anastasio's quote of 30% reduction in injuries is 100% bullshit. By LANS own records, comparing the first 5 months of calendar year 2007 under LANS to the first 5 months of CY 2006 under the University of California, there has been no improvement in safety whatsoever. None.

It is necessary to compare safety numbers during the same months as seasonal changes in activites would otherwise bias the results. Either Anastasio must know this and he's intentionally trying to mislead employees, the public, the administration, and Congress, or he doesn't know and is therefore incompetent to manage safety at LANL.

Anonymous said...

While it may be that all accidents could have been prevented, the only people who will never get hurt or never appear to have been hurt on the job are the people who never do any work, or who do perform work and don't report their injuries.

When the focus is on relativley meaningless injuries, the possible sources of significant injury will be missed. That's part of what happened in the jackhammer incident. The focus was on compliance with a questionable requirement that wasn't questioned, and a cheap solution was attempted. The result was much more than a minor laceration that required stitches.

Minor reportable injuries don't really count. The real effort should be placed on what can break bones, sever limbs, and permanently damage lungs. Taking care of the small things doesn't automatically mean you've prevented the big injuries, regardless what some might say.

Anonymous said...

6/2/07 8:19 AM - you are making the assumption that the people reporting injuries are not psychologically disturbed, are telling the truth, and not simply trying to get money out of the institution by making shit up knowing damn well the management will fall all over themselves to keep things quiet and not hit the papers. The so-called victims have been proven to be liars most of the time.

Anonymous said...

another point is that there will ALWAYS be injuries and you can't "train" or "regulate" them away. The huge majority of the injuries reported are minor "cut finger" varieties and don't MEAN anything and to NOT result in time away from work (horrors!) or workers comp.

Depending on how "injuries" are categorized and if "paper cuts" are included, then the numbers of totally meaningless.

The 30% figure is bullshit because up until that figure was announced the LANS managers were still yammering at people about "injuries" rather than praising workers for driving down the number of reportable injuries.

The POOF there was suddenly a 30% reduction? HA HA

Anonymous said...

The injury classification and safety reporting here is consistent with other DOE sites. They seem to be able to perform work - in some cases with more construction and operations activities than here at LANL, and achieve fewer employee injuries of all kinds than here. As to continuing to talk about safety even if injury rates improve is a something done in both commercial and government business. Safety requires constant reinforcement. Injuries are NOT an acceptable part of doing business. We may not be able to eliminate all injuries, but we should be constantly working to do so. (Soap box intended!)

Anonymous said...

The only way to get a sense of under reporting of injuries is to compare the number of OSHA type cases against the number of worker compensation cases files by injured employees. Its never a 1-to-1 comparison since the majority of injury cases do not result in WC claims, but if there are a lot more WC cases than OSHA cases on the books, something is wrong. Both stats have to be reported to DOE by DOE M&O contractors, so someone at HQ should be doing this comparison.

Anonymous said...

Oh good grief - let's talk some facts, which Mikey is failing to discuss. Paper cuts at LANL land you in OC-Med because of the culture of over-reaction and fear at this place. I feel sorry for the highly paid Doctors that have to waste their time and experience on paper cuts.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this recent change widely discussed: Now, if you go to the health center with an ergonomic injury complaint, you MUST bring your supervisor with you.

That's one way of reducing incidents.

Anonymous said...

12:45 - I have known of several people where I work that have been hiding small injuries so that they will not be persecuted. If you admit in C-Div that you spilled a few milligrams of depleted uranium you get a full blown investigation and punishment results in the form of not getting converted and fired. Great advertisement for NOT being a PD in C-Div folks!!

Anonymous said...

So a PD in C was on track to be converted, did everything right, was a star, etc.

And a couple of milligrams later, they are out on the street.

Harsh place to work!

(Afraid I would have to call BS on that one).

Anonymous said...

6/3/07 9:46 PM wrote, "So a PD in C was on track to be converted, did everything right, was a star, etc."

Since when do you have to be "a star" to be converted in C division? You either work for someone in the good-ole boys club or you work for the ADCLES or her husband. The PD has performed better than most of them. Still is not getting converted ... and yes ... all over a couple of milligrams. Go ask Gene Peterson the kind of extreme investigation that was called over a couple of milligrams and why someone who just doesn't work for "the right person" does not get converted.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!