By Joseph Pillittere

WVDP VPP Star of Excellence Award

DOE officials present Voluntary Protection Program awards to operators of DOE’s West Valley Demonstration Project. From left are Mike Harrington, President of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2401; Alfred Traylor, Director of the Office of Worker Safety and Health Assistance; and Cheryl Wozniak, CH2M Hill BWXT West Valley Safety Engineer.

EM News Bulletin Excerpts:  Alfred Traylor, Director of the DOE Office of Worker Safety and Health Assistance, presented West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) employees with a Star of Excellence plaque for exceeding minimum safety rates and having an overall robust safety program. The site was also recertified as a DOE Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star site, the program’s highest level of recognition and one that WVDP has held for over twenty years.

Traylor said, “I had a tour of the site this morning, and I was quite impressed with the ongoing cleanup efforts, as well as your safety record. This only happens when commitment starts in the field where the work is being done. The safety and health of our employees, both contractor and federal, are the highest priorities for the Department. DOE’s VPP promotes safety and health excellence through cooperative efforts among labor, management and government at the DOE contractor sites.”

The Office of Environmental Management (EM) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Jeff Avery, was onsite to observe cleanup progress and meet with employees and key community stakeholders.  He spoke at the event to celebrate the award of the DOE VPP Star of Excellence and VPP Star status to West Valley prime contractor CH2M Hill BWXT West Valley (CHBWV). 

“Without you, there would be no cleanup or risk reduction for our communities and the environment. This accomplishment speaks volumes of your abilities to find solutions and use lessons learned to solve some of the most challenging problems we face in reducing legacy risks,” Avery said. “This team has proven that difficult, high hazard work can be completed safely. That is no surprise considering this same workforce was one of the first in the DOE-EM complex to achieve VPP Star status, an award bestowed upon the safest of the safe DOE sites.”

Recipients of the Star of Excellence award have achieved an outstanding level of performance in meeting established safety and health goals, actively conducting outreach to others and achieving an injury and illness rate significantly below the average of similar businesses and operations.

For the complete article see the October 31, 2023 EM News Bulletin - EM’s Jeff Avery Honors West Valley Workforce for Dedication to Safety. 


Joseph Pillittere, Vice President - Communication and External Affairs, CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley, LLC (CHBWV)