OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The National Safety Council has recognized the head of Oak Ridge’s lead environmental cleanup contractor as a 2019 CEO Who “Gets It,” a designation that identifies leaders who go above and beyond to protect employees on and off the job.
Ken Rueter, president and CEO of UCOR, was among eight recipients from a cross section of industries to receive this prestigious award.
“Ken is very deserving of this award, which recognizes his role in establishing and maintaining a rigorous safety culture at UCOR,” said Jay Mullis, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM). “His efforts, along with those of his senior management team, have helped Oak Ridge earn a reputation as a site that successfully completes projects on time and on budget, while prioritizing the health and safety of those who perform the work.”
Each year, the council selects CEOs from national and international organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to safety in four key areas: leadership and employee engagement, safety management solutions, risk reduction, and performance measurement.
“I’m very honored to receive this designation,” Rueter said. “I share this honor with the entire UCOR team — the men and women who work hard each day to ensure that we maintain one of the most outstanding safety records in the DOE complex, while successfully accomplishing hazardous cleanup. They deserve the credit.”
UCOR has tackled numerous challenging cleanup projects. OREM and the company helped Oak Ridge become the first site in the world to successfully remove all of its former gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment buildings. Crews are also conducting significant risk reduction activities at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, including stabilizing and demolishing high risk excess contaminated facilities.
In 2018, UCOR set a record in two key performance measures for reported work injuries — the lowest total recordable case and days-away rates — since its contract began in 2011. For the second consecutive year, UCOR received the DOE Voluntary Protection Program Star of Excellence and the National Safety Council recognized two managers with their 2018 Rising Stars of Safety Award.
“Ken and the other leaders we honor understand that safety is the cornerstone of every world-class business,” said Nick Smith, interim president and CEO of the council. “They have set a standard for their peers and colleagues, and we are proud to recognize their efforts.”