DOE Site Celebrates VPP Honors

The Department of Energy's Y‑12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., is having a good month, as employees celebrated receiving its Voluntary Protection Program recertification from DOE at the Star level -- the site has held that since 2012 -- and also being presented NA-50 Excellence Awards.

The Department of Energy's Y‑12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., is having a good month, as employees celebrated receiving its Voluntary Protection Program recertification from DOE at the Star level -- the site has held that since 2012 -- and also being presented NA-50 Excellence Awards, along with Pantex. The award recognizes teams and individuals for outstanding accomplishments involving innovation, effectiveness, teamwork, overcoming adversity, and enabling future success.

Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC President and CEO Morgan Smith commended the honorees, saying, "The work we do is unique. We play a key role in the defense of the nation and the stability of the world. We face the challenge of meeting this important mission while working in facilities that are well past their intended life. Your work has helped tackle infrastructure issues that, if left unaddressed, could have exposed a risk to employees, the mission, or the environment."

Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC operates both the Pantex Plant and Y-12 in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The VPP recertification ceremony involved NNSA Production Office Deputy Manager Teresa Robbins presenting Y‑12 Site Manager Bill Tindal with the new VPP flag during an annual state-wide event called Safety Fest TN. "This honor is only possible because of the safety‑conscious, 'watch out for each other' attitudes Y‑12 employees have," Tindal said. He commended the VPP Champions Committee, which consists of labor and management representatives from across the site, for their efforts to maintain VPP Star status.

DOE-VPP started in 1994. It encourages and recognizes excellence in occupational safety and health protection and closely mirrors OSHA's VPP program.

"It's this kind of commitment to safety that makes the VPP Star status possible," Robbins said. "We won't stop just because we got this award. We strive for everyone to go home safely every day and to be safe every second of the day."

As for the NA-50 award, at Pantex and Y-12 the CNS Construction team was recognized for its operations with zero recordable injuries in fiscal year 2016, and the Development and Approval team for the Administrative Support Complex also was recognized. The Pantex Outage Process Execution team was recognized for the high-voltage distribution system outages conducted safely in support of the NNSA mission at Pantex, while other Y-12 awards recognized the team replacing some 700 fire suppression system sprinkler heads in Building 9204-2, the team that reroofed three Manhattan Project-era buildings as part of the Excess Facilities Disposition Program Roof Asset Management Program Risk Reduction project, the team that repaired a concrete beam in Building 9204-2, and the team that pursued multiple projects to reduce risks posed by excess facilities.

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