Tank Armor Plant Celebrates 3 Million Hour Milestone

The Idaho National Laboratory's tank armor production project has 223 employees who know how to work injury-free. That's shown by INL's announcement that its Specific Manufacturing Capability project on Jan. 10, 2007, reached 3 million man-hours worked without a lost-time injury or illness. The facility makes armor for the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank, handling more than 2 million pounds of metal materials each month during operations.

The injury-free streak began in October 2000. "INL has always made employee safety a primary commitment and goal. The three million man-hour milestone is an indicator of the employees' commitment to working safely and to their commitment to producing a world-class product. This is an example of INL's integrated safety management at work," said SMC Associate Laboratory Director David Kudsin.

INL said the SMC project started with a memorandum of understanding between the Army and the U.S. Department of Energy in February 1985. Material production began in November 1986, with the first unit delivered in October 1987. Full production started in 1988, and the plant has been working at capacity ever since, with some 3,900 armor packages produced thus far. Dennis Spurgeon, DOE's assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy, sent INL officials a congratulatory letter on Jan. 19.

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