WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS) for violations of the Department’s worker safety and health regulations.  The violations are associated with a July 1, 2011, incident that occurred while a worker was using a Tele-Tower® scaffold to perform facility modifications in the Purification Area Vault of Building 105-K in the K-Area Complex at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The SRNS worker fell from the scaffold and was hospitalized with injuries to his head and torso. 

The PNOV cites four violations of Energy Department worker safety and health regulations in the areas of: (1) identification, assessment, prevention, and abatement of hazards; (2) scaffold safety; (3) training and information; and (4) occupational medicine.  SRNS is cited for failure to comply with 10 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Part 851, Worker Safety and Health Program.  The Department has grouped and categorized the deficiencies as two Severity Level I violations and two Severity Level II violations.   

In response to the event, SRNS temporarily suspended all work on mobile scaffolds at SRS while the appropriate investigations and assessments were completed.  SRNS has implemented comprehensive corrective actions that address most aspects of the violations in the PNOV, including revising company procedures to ensure proper assembly and use of scaffolds and improving worker training.  In light of the promptness and extent of SRNS’ response to the event and consistent with the factors established in Appendix B to 10 C.F.R. Part 851, General Statement of Enforcement Policy, the Energy Department elected to grant partial mitigation of the base civil penalty of $225,000.  As a result, the Department is proposing an adjusted civil penalty of $159,375.

The Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 authorizes the Department of Energy to take regulatory actions under 10 C.F.R. Part 851, against contractors for violations of its worker safety and health requirements.  The Energy Department’s Enforcement Program encourages contractors to identify and correct worker safety and health deficiencies at an early stage, before they contribute to or result in more serious events. 

Additional details on this and other enforcement actions are available at www.hss.doe.gov/enforce.