'Safety is a State of Mind(fulness)'

By Paul Rhien and Lara Adams

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Sandia fairs raise safety and health awareness in workplace

participants wear dark goggles and try to drop oranges in cups
DROP TEST — A representative from Kaiser Permanente outfits two Sandians with darkened goggles and has them drop an orange into a cup to test their vision.  (Photo by Michael Langley)

Celebrated annually in June, National Safety Month is an important opportunity to raise awareness about safety and health in the workplace.

Throughout the month, Sandia Health Benefits and Employee Services and Safety organizations at the Livermore and Albuquerque campuses teamed up to host an array of speakers, activities and events focused on ensuring that employees have the skills and awareness to stay safe and healthy at work and at home.

This year’s theme, “Safety is a State of Mind(fulness),” emphasized mindfulness as an effective strategy for beating safety complacency and staying alert. The benefits of mindfulness go beyond workplace safety and injury prevention, also reducing stress and fatigue, increasing energy and improving productivity.

employees talk to health worker at booth
HEALTH HELP — From left, Danielle Puckett and Tiffany Binderup talk with representatives of John Muir Health.  (Photo by Michael Langley)

The fair at the Livermore campus was held in connection with the monthly farmers market, and included a variety of educational tables from Sandia organizations and local vendors. Demonstrations provided opportunities for participants to learn more about how to reduce workplace hazards, manage household chemical risks, order safety and computer glasses and more.

“We were very pleased with the turnout. The Safety and Health Fair was a great way to educate employees about their benefits, onsite services and other health and safety resources,” said Rosalind Turner, Sandia/California’s Health, Benefits & Employee Services manager. “Most importantly, it was an opportunity to come together, talk, enjoy a meal at the market or just get moving.”

medical staff checks employee's blood pressure at booth
UNDER PRESSURE — Aamir Shan, left, gets his blood pressure checked by Rebecca MacIsaac.  (Photo by Michael Langley)

More than 1,000 people participated in National Safety Month events at Sandia’s Albuquerque campus, a 38% increase from last year’s event. Event organizers offered four separate events, the first of which featured presentations on mindfulness, pressure safety, B61 drop test planning, active shooter procedures and information about the Eubank gate construction project.

This year’s event included an Energy Hub Crawl designed to encourage employees to visit a nearby hub for dynamic stretches, focused breathing and other mindfulness-promoting activities.

man in harness climbs down scaffolding with rescue dummy
HELPING HANDS — A safety team member performs a mock rescue during the Hands-on Safety training event at the Albuquerque campus.  (Photo by Lonnie Anderson)

At the Hands-on Safety Training event, participants tried out the slip and driving simulators, practiced using fire extinguishers, used the aerial lift and bridge crane and learned about safe lifting, fall protection and working in a confined space.

Concluding the series of events, the Safety and Health fair featured a wide variety of interactive booths and demonstrations, of which the emergency management rescue and K-9 demonstrations were especially popular. Attendees also learned more about CPR and AEDs, mindfulness and yoga, grill and boating safety and many other topics.