DOE and an association that helps worksites advance safety and health goals last week awarded several cleanup contractors across the EM complex — from Washington state and New Mexico to New York and South Carolina — for achievements in safety, health, innovation and outreach.
The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) honored contractors at the Hanford Site, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Oak Ridge as part of its annual awards recently.
Working through cooperative efforts among labor, management, and government at DOE contractor sites, DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) promotes improved safety and health performance through public recognition of outstanding programs. The DOE VPP also honored several EM contractors with Superior Star and Star of Excellence awards.
Among the winners:
Central Plateau Cleanup Company, Hanford Site
VPPPA selected EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo) at Hanford as a recipient of its 2022 Safety & Health Outreach Award. The award recognizes “VPP Models” that reach out to share the safety, health, technical and management expertise developed at their sites. CPCCo was selected for its occupational safety and industrial hygiene partnership with Central Washington University’s Safety and Health Management Program.
“Our partnership with a local university allows us to share professional knowledge and real-world experiences with students,” said CPCCo safety specialist Jake Steelhammer. “It also promotes employment opportunities for the next generation of Hanford Site workers in the health and safety field.”
UCOR, Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge cleanup contractor UCOR received the VPP Innovation Award from VPPPA for implementing a new digital interface that allows workers to report potential safety hazards via mobile phones.
Previously, safety observations were submitted using paper cards or through a web-based application accessible via company desktop computers. Data from paper card submittals were entered manually into the program system.
Decreasing the amount of time required to identify and address at-risk behaviors and conditions is a major benefit of the interface. When an observation points to an unsafe condition, a corrective action is assigned, and the condition is promptly corrected. Feedback is provided throughout the process to keep the workforce informed of corrected conditions.
“Since approximately 40 percent of the UCOR workforce doesn’t have access to company computer systems, the ability for them to submit observations from their mobile phones is a dramatic improvement,” said Clint Wolfley, UCOR Safety Systems and Services manager. “Due to its accessibility and ease of use, the mobile interface has increased observation submittals from about 200 to over 450 per month.”
CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley, West Valley Demonstration Project
DOE VPP honored West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV) with its Superior Star Award, which is based on outstanding mentoring, outreach, goal setting, and support of VPP. Superior Star awardees also have a recordable incident injury rate that is 50% better than the average of other U.S. businesses in the same industry.
“This milestone marks more than 20 years of having the VPP flag flying over the site, and under three contractors,” said Jennifer Dundas, EM WVDP Safety and Site Programs team leader. “All personnel working onsite should be extremely proud of this accomplishment. Our WVDP team has demonstrated that safety is at the forefront every day, especially when working in and around challenging and high-risk areas. Their involvement and proactive approach to safety promotes a safety culture that is continuously improving the work environment and reducing risks.”
Other EM contractor awardees include:
- Washington River Protection Solutions, EM Office of River Protection tank operations contractor at the Hanford Site, received the VPP Innovation Award for a conveyor belt system developed during the 242-A Evaporator transfer line replacement project. The project required excavation in and around legacy equipment buried in the AW Tank Farm. Workers had to dig trenches in excess of seven feet deep by hand. Engineers developed a modular shoring system to protect workers, as well as adaptable conveyor belt systems to move large amounts of soil easing ergonomic strains.
- Nuclear Waste Partnership, the management and operations contractor at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, was recognized with the VPP Outreach Award from VPPPA for its pursuit of safety excellence and community outreach through its first-of-a-kind leadership academy. Read the story about this award here.
- Contractor Hanford Laboratory Management and Integration, which runs Hanford’s 222-S Laboratory, was awarded the Superior Star Award by DOE VPP.
DOE VPP bestowed its Star of Excellence Award on several EM contractors. Like the Superior Star, this award is based on outstanding mentoring, outreach, goal setting, and support of VPP. Awardees have a recordable incident injury rate that is 75% better than the average of other U.S. businesses in the same industry.
Following EM contractors received the Star of Excellence Award:
- Washington River Protection Solutions, Hanford Site
- Waste Treatment Completion Company, Hanford Site
- Hanford Mission Integration Solutions, Hanford Site
- Idaho Environmental Coalition, Idaho National Laboratory Site
- UCOR, Oak Ridge
- North Wind Solutions, Oak Ridge
- Portsmouth Mission Alliance, Portsmouth Site
- Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Savannah River Site
- Savannah River Remediation, Savannah River Site
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