A new safety program launched by EM contractor Fluor Idaho benefits all Idaho Cleanup Project employees, including those who transfer spent nuclear fuel from wet to dry storage, as shown here.
A new safety program launched by EM contractor Fluor Idaho benefits all Idaho Cleanup Project employees, including those who transfer spent nuclear fuel from wet to dry storage, as shown here.

IDAHO FALLS, IdahoEM and its cleanup contractor at the DOE Idaho National Laboratory Site have implemented an innovative safety program to help workers evaluate workplace risks.

Fluor Idaho brought the personal risk evaluation process (PREP) training to the Idaho Cleanup Project workforce this spring. Both Fluor Idaho senior management and union leadership agreed the training would help promote employee participation in evaluating their workplaces and mitigating potential safety hazards.

PREP goes further than most safety training programs that teach employees to look for hazards. It instructs them to recognize energies present, determine what hazards they may pose, and mitigate those risks. By doing that, workers are more likely to understand the risks present.

Two energies are unavoidable and constant — human energy and gravity. Other energies — electrical, cold and heat, pressure, biological, radiation, noise, object in motion, and chemical — can be managed, and exposure to them can be reduced.

“PREP differs from other safety programs by engaging employees, and in particular, their decision-making skills, in every step of the work process,” Fluor Idaho Environmental, Safety, and Health Director Kliss McNeel said. “By implementing PREP in conjunction with our other employee-owned safety programs, directors and union leaders felt that it would add an additional level of protection for our employees at both in-town and site facilities.”

Mark Brown, EM deputy manager at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory Site, and Kliss McNeel, Fluor Idaho environmental, safety, and health director, attend the 2019 Safety Culture Fall Workshop where personal risk evaluation process training was first discussed with an EM audience.
Mark Brown, EM deputy manager at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory Site, and Kliss McNeel, Fluor Idaho environmental, safety, and health director, attend the 2019 Safety Culture Fall Workshop.

Whether it is a boiler building at a nuclear facility — with electrical, pressure, and noise energies — or a print shop — with objects-in-motion, electrical, and chemical energies — each presents potential hazards and risks to employees.

Recognizing that employees add energy to every situation and can control that energy is key to keeping safe.

“Changing conditions at the jobsite and worker distractions pose a potential safety risk,” McNeel said. “Under PREP and our existing workplace procedures, employees can initiate a stop-work to reevaluate the potential hazard.”

McNeel said employee feedback on the new training has been very positive.

“Employees like the active engagement aspect of PREP,” she said.