AIKEN — The Savannah River Mission Completion workforce has reached a significant safety milestone by surpassing five million consecutive safe hours of work.
The term “safe hours” represents the hours worked without an occupation-related injury or illness that results in the employee’s inability to return to work the next day. The count began on April 5, 2022, soon after SRMC assumed control of the Savannah River Site (SRS) liquid waste operations.
SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson said it is important that workers take ownership of their safety behaviors, including the willingness and ability to question processes that could pose a safety hazard.
"We embrace a 'safety first' culture at SRMC," Olson said. "We have a lot of work ahead of us, and a safe work environment is essential to completing our mission. I'm proud to say our safe performance shows that our workers take a proactive approach to every job – big or small."
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During this period, SRMC employees have performed numerous tasks including moving waste from tank-to-tank and tank-to-facility, removing radionuclides from salt waste, solidifying high-activity sludge and salt concentrate at the SRS vitrification facility, and converting decontaminated salt solution into grout for disposal—along with numerous operations, maintenance, and construction tasks that support those operations. The SRMC construction workforce has also continued efforts to construct and complete mega-volume saltstone disposal units, which permanently store the grout.
Statistics show that a company the size of SRMC in the "Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal" industry, and during that same length of time, would expect to experience more than 12 injuries that were significant enough that the employee would be unable to return to work the next day. SRMC has experienced none.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the importance of preventing workplace injuries cannot be overstated. Injuries, and the suffering and financial hardship those events can cause for workers, their families, and employers, can be devastating. Today's work practices recognize that identifying a potential hazard before it can cause an injury benefits everyone.
SRMC comprises parent company BWX Technologies, Inc. with partners Amentum and Fluor. Its team brings the capabilities necessary to accelerate cleanup at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site through safe nuclear operations, optimized and integrated mission execution, and strong corporate governance.