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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bike helmets

Are you glad that Lab management is looking out for your future and requiring the use of bicycle helmets?

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

The pigs have moved into the farmer's house.

Anonymous said...

I have seen this before in the death of organizations. When management can't address the real issues at hand, they begin to work the non-issues that give them a sense of actually accomplishing something. Meanwhile, the organization gasps for its last breath.

Anonymous said...

We are going to furlough our people, but buy them a bike helmut to use on the way out. Just what we needed.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, ages ago Sandia either went to helmets or totally eliminated bikes. They don't seem to be gasping for air.

Anonymous said...

Why does every little edict have to elicit the sweeping judgements about management. Wearing a helmet is a good idea. Maybe someone upstairs does care about safety. Accept the rule. It's not a big deal.

thief said...

"Accept the rule"

Good doggie!

Anonymous said...

"Accept the rule"

Good doggie!

April 12, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Don't accept the rule: "Bad doggie!"

Bad doggies get smacked.

thief said...

Bad doggies get smacked.


Not if they don't ride the bikes.

Anonymous said...

The new policy is missing something important. Who is going to enforce it?

Anonymous said...

Liberals don't worry about actually enforcing laws, they just are happy about having passed them, makes them feel really good that they "sent a message."

Anonymous said...

Nanny state!

Anonymous said...

Its all about liability folks. Remember we work for limited liability companies (LLCs) that "limit their liability" by accepting no risk and any risk they have is passed to the employees.

Anonymous said...

The new policy is missing something important. Who is going to enforce it?

April 12, 2013 at 8:41 PM

You don't get it. LLNS just passed their risk to the employees. They could care less if someone not wearing a helmet is killed on a bike. They now have a policy to blame the employee for his/her negligence and not following Lab Policy. They (LLNS) isn't going waste any of their money with "bike cops".... come on.

Anonymous said...

Just walk. Get rid of the bikes.

Anonymous said...

Dump the bikes, dump the helmets, save a load of cash and walk your fat @ss! We're talking one square mile here folks.

Anonymous said...

LLNS just passed their risk to the employees.

If someone gets hurt on a bike, the Lab's performance index still takes a hit. Maybe they just hope the policy will reduce the chance of *serious* injury when there is a bike accident. They do happen on a regular basis.

And I think there will be enforcement. Remember how driving violations are passed along to the directorates?

Anonymous said...


I would say dump the bikes at LLNL and LANL. Bikes should not be allowed on LANL property.

Anonymous said...

If you are unable to ride a bike, then don't! If someone falls off a bike it is their own stupidity..

Anonymous said...

If someone falls off a bike it is their own stupidity..

April 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM

It would be nice if the law recognized that, but it doesn't. If you fall off a bike you sue 1) the bike owner who didn't maintain it, 2) the bike maker who marketed an unsafe product, 3) the street maintenance people who didn't fix the pothole, 4) the manager who caused you to hurry so much you had to take a bike instead of walk and didn't take into account your heart problem, 5) the safety people who didn't require you to wear a helmet even though they knew it would be severely debilitating if you fell off the bike. Each of those folks have serious legal liability if the bikes are available. Get rid of them, now. It isn't your father's LLNL anymore. Stop being nostalgic and walk, for crissake.

Anonymous said...

Think I'll bring my skateboard - no rules yet on having to wear a helmet while skateboarding (I mean, that is totally uncool)...

Anonymous said...

Take your skate board and shove it up your @ss wise guy. It's dummies like you that rules like this are created in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Clearly a person that wears several helmets!!!

Maybe management ought to look at cost cutting efforts to eliminate furloughs & keep NIF on budget (actual site management).

"Nanny state" rules are not really needed.

Anonymous said...

Clearly a person that wears several helmets!!!

Maybe management ought to look at cost cutting efforts to eliminate furloughs & keep NIF on budget (actual site management).

"Nanny state" rules are not really needed.

Anonymous said...

Try to protect everyone from themselves...another strike against the evolutionary process!

Anonymous said...

Try to protect everyone from themselves...another strike against the evolutionary process!

April 15, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Calm down. It's a simple CYA exercise. The rules are to protect the lab from liability, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

I'll accept helmets for the working stiffs if the upper management accepts condoms.

Anonymous said...

Did you get the day off from grammar school?

Anonymous said...

Nope, I was their every school day and some summers, to

Anonymous said...

Nope, I was their every school day and some summers, to

April 17, 2013 at 8:35 AM

"their" = "there"
"to" = "too"
Guess all that school time didn't help.

Anonymous said...

Egads people! Does anybody have any idea just how many people get injured at LLNL every year due to bicycles?!

Parney should be congratulated for having the balls to actually make what he knew was certainly going to be an unpopular decision. He put employee safety over being popular. Few managers at LLNL have such courage.

Anonymous said...

Egads people! Does anybody have any idea just how many people get injured at LLNL every year due to bicycles?!

No. Suppose you tell us.

Bicycle injuries are likely to be significantly reduced, but not for the right reasons.

The most likely outcome of this new policy is that the Laboratory will be a less safe place to work. Fewer people will ride bicycles and more people will drive. The Laboratory certainly will be a less healthy place to work. Unintended consequences.

There is a lot of controversy on the subject, but mandatory helmet laws have not been shown to be beneficial (e.g., fewer people ride bicycles under mandatory laws; those who do and wear helmets take more risks). I've even seen one study arguing that the cost of mandatory helmet laws (e.g., less healthy population) was 20 time worse than any benefit.

Those interested can do a simple web search on the subject. There are vastly differing opinions.

Anonymous said...

Of all the problems we have, bicycle helmets should be low on the priority list.

Safety is an issue, but shouldn't we work on the more important issues first?

Anonymous said...

Are you glad that Lab management is looking out for your future and requiring the use of bicycle helmets?

Twenty years ago, the Lab had a pool, softball fields, par course, a periodic fitness publication (Fit Notes), etc. The Lab sponsored a "centipede" in the Bay to Breakers. Employees received comprehensive physical examinations every three years. Employees could go to medical services for routine needs. There was the "mole patrol."

Two years ago I felt some sort of growth on my back. I went to medical hoping that someone could simply look at it since I couldn't see it. Nope. I had to take 3 hours off work to go to my regular doctor.

Clearly, the current Lab management doesn't care about my future or health. Yes, we get free flu shots and bicycle helmets. And that's great. But that's nothing compared to how the Lab previously treated it's employees, and it is nothing compared to how many large businesses treat their employees.

The Lab is a workplace. It has no specific responsibility to provide me with fitness and medical opportunities. There is no explicit reason I shouldn't be entirely responsible for my own health and well-being. But by the same token, if I am responsible for having a growth on my back evaluated by my private physician, then I should be responsible for the decision to wear or not wear a bicycle helmet on site (especially when riding my own bike). Skin cancer is far more dangerous than bicycle accidents.

What bothers me the most about the helmet policy are the claims that the Lab is doing it out of an altruistic concern for my personal safety. The policy would be much more tolerable if the Lab said, "We don't really care about you. We care about liability issues. That is the reason for the new policy."

Anonymous said...

What bothers me the most about the helmet policy are the claims that the Lab is doing it out of an altruistic concern for my personal safety. The policy would be much more tolerable if the Lab said, "We don't really care about you. We care about liability issues. That is the reason for the new policy."

April 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Well, you obviously understand the reality, but are upset that lab management won't admit it? Your ability to "tolerate" the policy depends not on the policy itself but on what the lab says about it? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

LLNL is a super intelligent workplace where we use and find numbers that mean things. So, if you make a rule that clearly upsets common practice, then how about giving us the numbers which show why the rule is necessary: Show us a cost-benefit analysis instead of treating us like Big Brother and rule by unsupported fiat.I mean, why is it so hard to treat us with the kind of intellectually honest respect that we deserve.

Anonymous said...

Show us a cost-benefit analysis instead of treating us like Big Brother and rule by unsupported fiat...treat us with the kind of intellectually honest respect that we deserve.

April 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM

There is no "cost benefit analysis." The rules, in this case, are made by corporate lawyers, not scientists. And lawyers respect NOBODY, except judges they are standing in front of.

Anonymous said...

Well, you obviously understand the reality, but are upset that lab management won't admit it? Your ability to "tolerate" the policy depends not on the policy itself but on what the lab says about it? Sheesh.

For the most part, yes. I despise hypocrisy. While I still wouldn't like the policy, I would respect Lab management if they were honest with employees about the true motivation for the policy (i.e., liability vs concern/altruism). The most important quality of any leader is honesty. That's Leadership 101. In fact, honesty is pretty much the most important quality in any relationship. Don't hide behind motherhood statements and feel good claims. Tell me the truth.

Anonymous said...

The next rule for our safety will involve the cafeterias. They are going to put a scale in front of the entrance. If you are overweight, the door will not open.

Anonymous said...

The most important quality of any leader is honesty. That's Leadership 101.
April 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

News flash - they're not your "leaders" - they're your bosses. You are incredibly naive. You work for a corporation whose parent companies are large, mostly multinational, and completely immune to your feelings. You sound very young and inexperienced. Be prepared to be stepped on repeatedly throughout your career, until you learn to anticipate it.

Anonymous said...

Laboratory managers are not my bosses. They work for me. I do not work for them.

April 19, 2013 at 9:39 AM

I'm sure your egocentric, upside-down view of the nature of the employer-employee relationship will endear you to your new bosses. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Egads people! Does anybody have any idea just how many people get injured at LLNL every year due to bicycles?!

Parney should be congratulated for having the balls to actually make what he knew was certainly going to be an unpopular decision. He put employee safety over being popular. Few managers at LLNL have such courage.
April 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Oh god, this decision took a lot of courage and "balls" to make. It's unfortunate that we have such low expectations in our leaders in demonstrating their courage and "ball".

Anonymous said...

Just how many people get injured at LLNL every year due to bicycles?

Anonymous said...

News flash - they're not your "leaders" - they're your bosses. You are incredibly naive. You work for a corporation whose parent companies are large, mostly multinational, and completely immune to your feelings. You sound very young and inexperienced. Be prepared to be stepped on repeatedly throughout your career, until you learn to anticipate it.

Laboratory managers are not my bosses. My bosses are the DOE and WFO sponsors who fund my work. I and others write proposals that bring money into the Laboratory. Among other things, this money is used to pay the salaries of Laboratory managers. My efforts pay their salaries. They work for me. I do not work for them. It is the job of Laboratory management to make my life as an employee more productive. It is not my job to help them.

Companies, including large multinationals, that follow the basic principle that management works for its employees most often succeed. Those that don't eventually die.

Laboratory management has failed. The bike helmet policy is symbolic of a greater problem that continues to grow. Laboratory management continues to impede the productivity of employees. Laboratory management is the problem, not the solution.

Because Laboratory management has failed, I am taking my business elsewhere. This includes well over two decades of domain knowledge and sponsor support. Sponsors are more than willing to pay less when they can get equivalent services at other organizations.

I am firing Laboratory management. I win. They lose. I am their boss. Almost any employee of even modest ability can do the same.

Anonymous said...

I am firing Laboratory management. I win. They lose. I am their boss. Almost any employee of even modest ability can do the same.

April 20, 2013 at 7:26 PM

You are insane and if you dare to make you opinions known to your employers, you will be fired, over and over again. Guess you have no dependents to worry about supporting. Given your insanity and egocentricity, I'm not surprised about that. We've learned in recent years that loners with your attitude sometimes wind up shooting up schools and theaters. I hope you get help.

Anonymous said...

"We've learned in recent years that loners with your attitude sometimes wind up shooting up schools and theaters. I hope you get help."

I am not the previous poster but I had to respond to this. Your point here is a logical fallacy. (1) It is not true that people who shoot places up are simply loners, they had a lot of other problems. (2) You have no reason to believe the previous poster is loner. (3) His opinion is about LLNL management not the whole world. It is not an unreasonable point to make that in some sense that at the labs the management is not really the boss as it is in traditional sense, we are simply not that kind of institute.

Your attack is of the lowest form and makes little sense...lets see how you like it. You come across as a sniveling yes man and recent history in Iraq, Libya, and Syria has shown that people just like you are the ones most willing to commit brutal atrocities therefore you opinion on lab management is invalid.

Anonymous said...

I'm neither of those two previous guys.

But the poster is correct. If you bring in solid funding and have solid sponsor relationships, you can take them elsewhere.

That fact that current lab management doesn't get that, pretty much guarantees that we won't be able to pull out of the current death spiral we're in.

As I see it, most of the egocentricity and delusion is on the side of lab management at this point.

They just keep turning up the overhead knobs, making poor decisions, and driving moneymakers and top technical talent out of the lab.

They're hollowing out the core, and picking up the pace.

Anonymous said...

If you bring in solid funding and have solid sponsor relationships, you can take them elsewhere.

April 21, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Only if the place that you "take them" to 1) is willing to accept funding from that sponsor; 2) has the capabilities and infrastructure to carry out the research; 3) operates on the same "sponsor funding" model. That obviously means another national lab or a research university that doesn't turn its nose up at national security-related funding. Few and far between. Good luck shopping that around. You might want to do a little marketing research (on yourself) beforehand.

Anonymous said...

Or a defense contractor.

Lab has a limited number of capability/infrastructure advantages left.

Anonymous said...


"Few and far between."

I would say the opposite and that is why we lost so much WFO over time.

Anonymous said...

I would say the opposite and that is why we lost so much WFO over time.

April 22, 2013 at 5:55 AM

Nope. Conscious decision by the LLCs to discourage WFO and by Sandia to aggressively seek to expand it. You didn't "lose" WFO, it was taken from you with the blessings of your management.

Anonymous said...

While simultaneously talking all the time about WFO, spending tons of overhead (OSO!) on getting WFO, etc.

If that's their plan, they could have done it far cheaper...

Anonymous said...

While simultaneously talking all the time about WFO, spending tons of overhead (OSO!) on getting WFO, etc.

If that's their plan, they could have done it far cheaper...

April 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Whatever the "plan" WFO has taken a steep dive since Wallace took over GS at LANL. If he has a plan, it is lost on the rest of the Lab.

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