Office of Environmental Management

SRS Contractors Continue to Earn Industry Safety Recognition

October 29, 2019

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Savannah River Site radiation protection employees don protective equipment while working in a glovebox. Gloveboxes are structures with ports containing gloves that allow waste handlers to safely work with radioactive material.
Savannah River Site radiation protection employees don protective equipment while working in a glovebox. Gloveboxes are structures with ports containing gloves that allow waste handlers to safely work with radioactive material.

AIKEN, S.C. – Two EM contractors at Savannah River Site (SRS) continue to earn local, regional, and national recognition for their safety performance in 2018 and 2019, and together have accumulated 58 million safe hours.

The recognitions for Savannah River Remediation (SRR) and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) include the Occupational Excellence Achievement Award and Industry Leader Award from the National Safety Council (NSC); Palmetto Shining Star from the South Carolina Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation; and the Commendation of Safety Excellence from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, SRNS received the NSC 25 Million Safe Hour Award for surpassing 25 million safe work hours without a lost day due to an on-the-job injury.

The SRS contractors earned the NSC’s Occupational Excellence Achievement and Industry Leader awards for ranking in the top 5 percent of the NSC members that have qualified for the 2019 Occupational Excellence Achievement Award. Winners are selected based on employee safe work hours, among other factors.

SRR, EM’s liquid waste contractor, also earned the 2019 Innovation Award from the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) for efforts to protect workers from mercury vapors. In 2018, SRR’s industrial hygiene team installed air sampling units capable of sampling and monitoring mercury levels as part of a pilot project.

In 2019, the SRR construction workforce surpassed 31 million hours without an injury that caused an employee to miss a day from work. The SRR operations workforce has worked more than 4 million hours without such an injury.

Similarly, SRNS amassed more than 27 million safe work hours in 2019, accounting for 834 days, marking a new company milestone for safety performance since becoming the SRS management and operations contractor in 2008.

“SRS employees are the key to our great safety performance. Safety is a matter of personal accountability and a commitment to an injury-free workplace,” said Rick Sprague, SRNS senior vice president, environmental stewardship, safety, and health.

SRNS was also presented a Distinction Award by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for its annual safety culture and engagement video production titled, “Safety and Security Begin with Me. At Work. At Home. In the Community.” That award is presented to projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement, receiving more than 6,000 nominations annually from across the U.S. and around the world.

“These awards are the tangible evidence of a team that values safety as the key part of every operation and works together, in their own organizations and across company lines, to achieve safety excellence at SRS,” said Patricia Allen, SRR director for environmental, safety, and health, quality assurance, and contractor assurance director. “The true reward for working safely today is being able to come back safely tomorrow. It is also a great honor to earn awards from state and national entities acknowledging the hard work SRS employees put into keeping each other safe every day.”

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