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UCOR Safety & Health Operations Manager Chris Thursby and UCOR Chief of Staff Ashley Saunders accept an award as one of America’s Safest Companies for their work conducting environmental cleanup in Oak Ridge.
UCOR Safety & Health Operations Manager Chris Thursby and UCOR Chief of Staff Ashley Saunders accept an award as one of America’s Safest Companies for their work conducting environmental cleanup in Oak Ridge.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The magazine EHS Today has named EM’s Oak Ridge cleanup contractor UCOR one of America’s Safest Companies.

Each year, EHS Today recognizes companies with exceptional occupational safety, health, environmental, and risk management efforts. UCOR was one of 16 companies recently honored at the publication’s safety leadership conference in Dallas. EHS stands for environmental health and safety.

UCOR is EM’s prime cleanup contractor tasked with completing major cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). It is also responsible for surveillance and maintenance of DOE’s largest inventory of high-risk excess contaminated facilities, as well as deactivation, demolition, and remediation projects at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12).

EHS Today identifies companies that meet criteria for America's Safety Companies, such as support from leadership and management for environmental health and safety efforts, employee involvement in those efforts, innovative solutions to safety challenges, and good communication about the value of safety.

UCOR employees ensure safety as they conduct complex and challenging deactivation and decommissioning work at Oak Ridge.
UCOR employees ensure safety as they conduct complex and challenging deactivation and decommissioning work at Oak Ridge.

Oak Ridge became the first site in the world to remove all of its gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment buildings, and next year, Oak Ridge is set to become the first site in the world to complete major cleanup of an entire uranium enrichment complex.

EHS Today’s recognition of UCOR’s safety program comes on the heels of DOE’s recertification of the company’s Star status. That’s the highest level of recognition for contractors through the Department’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). UCOR also recently received its third consecutive Star of Excellence Award from the VPP.

“We have 1,800 people working across ETTP, ORNL, and Y-12,” UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter said. “ETTP, in particular, presented formidable cleanup challenges with the legacy buildings and structures with significant radioactive and chemical hazards. So, ‘Safety is a prerequisite to all we do’ quickly became our mantra."

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