WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA), for five violations of DOE’s worker safety and health regulations. Worker safety is a priority for the Department, and DOE’s enforcement program supports this priority by holding contractors accountable for meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.
The violations are associated with the February 11, 2013, test incident that resulted in a BEA researcher sustaining second- and third-degree burns at the Idaho National Laboratory Engineering Demonstration Facility.
The notice cites five violations of DOE worker safety and health requirements enforceable under 10 C.F.R. Part 851, Worker Safety and Health Program, in the areas of hazard identification and assessment; hazard prevention and abatement; management responsibilities; pressure safety; and training and information. The Department determined four of the violations were Severity Level I and one was a Severity Level II violation, with a total base civil penalty of $337,500. A Severity Level I violation is a serious violation where the potential for death or serious physical harm could result from a workplace hazard. A Severity Level II violation is an other-than-serious violation that has a direct relationship to worker safety and health.
In response to the incident, BEA implemented comprehensive corrective actions to address its own analytical findings and the violations cited in the PNOV. In light of the promptness and extent of BEA’s response to the event, and consistent with the factors established in Appendix B to 10 C.F.R. Part 851, General Statement of Enforcement Policy, DOE elected to grant partial mitigation of the base civil penalty. As a result, DOE proposed a total civil penalty of $168,750.
The Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 authorizes the Department to take regulatory actions against contractors for violations of DOE worker safety and health requirements. The DOE Enforcement Program encourages contractors to identify and correct worker safety and health deficiencies at an early stage, before they contribute to or result in more serious events.
Additional details on this and other enforcement actions are available HERE.