WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS) for a violation of worker safety and health requirements. The violation is associated with worker retaliation by SRNS against an employee at the Savannah River Site in 2015.
DOE’s Office of Enforcement conducted an investigation following a determination by the DOE Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) that SRNS subjected the employee to a reprisal prohibited under the Enhancement of Contractor Protection from Reprisal for Disclosure of Certain Information Act, Title 41 United State Code, Section 4712. The OHA Decision and Order required SRNS to provide relief for the employee in the form of compensation and reinstatement.
In addition to the prohibitions specified in the Act, subjecting an employee to reprisal for expressing a workplace safety and health concern also constitutes a violation of 10 C.F.R.
Part 851, DOE’s Worker Safety and Health Program rule. The PNOV cites one Severity Level I violation of requirements enforceable under 10 C.F.R. Part 851, Worker Safety and Health Program in the area of contractor management responsibilities and worker rights. DOE proposes an escalated civil penalty of $320,000. DOE considers the safety significance of the Part 851 violation as particularly egregious given the involvement of SRNS senior management in the retaliatory act.
Section 234C of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, authorizes the Energy Department to pursue regulatory enforcement under 10 C.F.R. Part 851 against DOE contractors for violations of worker safety and health requirements. DOE’s enforcement program encourages contractors to identify and correct worker safety and health program deficiencies at an early stage, before they contribute to, or result in more serious safety and health events.
SRNS is the management and operations contractor for the Savannah River Site located in Aiken, South Carolina.
Additional details on this PNOV and other enforcement actions are available on the DOE website at: /ea/services/enforcement.
News Media Contact: Shaylyn Hynes, 202-586-4940