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Safety Suggestion Leads Secure ISO-Base Supports

August 1, 2011


David Stewart of NERSC has been recognized with a SPOT Award for best CS Safety Suggestion or Near Miss for May-August 2011. Last year, computer racks were moved to the NERSC Division's Oakland Scientific Facility computer room from another facility. Staff who installed the racks in the new location were unfamiliar with ISO-Base seismic isolation platforms, and did not understand the need to secure the computer racks to the platforms. The newly-installed racks were loaded with equipment and powered up, fully operational.

As Stewart was working on one of the racks, he dropped a screw. In the process of retrieving it, he noticed that three newly installed computer racks had not been secured to their ISO-Base seismic support platforms, and the rack feet had not been lowered into place to lift the racks off their wheels. This meant that horizontal force could have caused the racks to tip, or even roll off the ISO-Base supports. Stewart stopped work immediately and alerted the Facility staff. Facility staff secured the three racks by promptly lowering the feet and attaching webbing from each ISO-Base platform to the rack feet. They checked all racks in the computer room to make sure that all were secure. NERSC also developed an ISO-Base installation procedure to educate staff on proper procedures

Read more about this near miss at: https://isswprod.lbl.gov/lessonslearned/browse/preview.aspx?id=1532

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The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences Area provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials, and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (CRD) conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

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