Bechtel-affiliated teams at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant project in Kentucky and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico were recently recognized for excellence in safety with Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Status—the highest honor for worksite-based safety and health systems.
- Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, a joint venture of Bechtel National, Inc. and Parsons Government Services Inc. together with its teaming subcontractors, received recertification from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration as a VPP Star Site recognizing the facility’s continued commitment to safe construction practices. The team was first awarded this status in 2011, becoming the first construction site in Kentucky to achieve the honor.
“Earning recertification as an OSHA VPP ‘Star Site’ is a tribute to the safety-first approach of every person on this site,” said Doug Omichinski, Bechtel’s project manager. “Project and construction management’s responsibility is to provide the tools, processes, and resources that support a world class safety program, but to succeed it must be embraced and executed by every member of the team.”
The plant is being built for the U.S. Department of Defense to take apart and destroy surplus chemical weapons under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty signed by 190 countries.
- This is the first U.S. Department of Energy VPP Star for Los Alamos National Security LLC, the management and operations contractor for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. With nearly 10,000 employees and contractors working across a 36-square-mile area, Los Alamos is the largest site in the DOE complex to reach Star status.
“VPP Star recognition would not have been possible without a strong commitment of LANL employees to meet the highest standards for workplace safety, and to incorporate a safety culture in everything they do,” said Acting Laboratory Deputy Director Paul Henry. “The VPP Star flag flying at the entrance of the laboratory is a proud daily reminder that safety is a core value of our workforce.”
LANL researches a broad range of national security science, from nuclear defense and security to supercomputing, epidemiology, materials science, energy, and other issues of global concern. LANS is owned by the Regents of the University of California, Bechtel National Inc., URS Energy & Construction Inc., and the Babcock & Wilcox Company.
Star status is reserved for contractors who have and continue to implement excellent safety programs that systemically protect employees. Special emphasis is placed on grassroots, employee-driven programs strengthened by engagement from site management.
Bechtel manages or co-manages seven government services sites that have been honored under Voluntary Protection Programs administered by DOE and OSHA. Blue Grass and Los Alamos join the teams at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant in Washington state, the Savannah River Remediation project in South Carolina, the Pantex Plant in Texas, the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, and another chemical weapons destruction plant project in Colorado.
Bechtel is a leader in transforming mission delivery in the nuclear power, national security, and environmental cleanup and restoration sectors, offering services across the complete facility lifecycle – from research and development to decontamination and decommissioning. The company’s experience spans nearly 70 years and includes services at government sites in 10 states and work on more than 85 percent of U.S. nuclear power plants.