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‘Safety Begins with Me’ Works toward an Injury-Free Workplace at Savannah River Site - Employees embrace high-quality safety awareness campaign

February 1, 2012 - 12:00pm

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A Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employee hangs one of several “Safety Begins with Me” banners near a Savannah River Site entrance.

A Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employee hangs one of several “Safety Begins with Me” banners near a Savannah River Site entrance.

A green cross was chosen as the primary symbol for the Savannah River Site’s “Safety Begins with Me” program.

A green cross was chosen as the primary symbol for the Savannah River Site’s “Safety Begins with Me” program.

Top executives from all major contractors at the Savannah River Site and DOE Savannah River Operations Office Manager David Moody (seated) work together to create a video production promoting the “Safety Begins with Me” program.

Top executives from all major contractors at the Savannah River Site and DOE Savannah River Operations Office Manager David Moody (seated) work together to create a video production promoting the “Safety Begins with Me” program.

A Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employee hangs one of several “Safety Begins with Me” banners near a Savannah River Site entrance.
A green cross was chosen as the primary symbol for the Savannah River Site’s “Safety Begins with Me” program.
Top executives from all major contractors at the Savannah River Site and DOE Savannah River Operations Office Manager David Moody (seated) work together to create a video production promoting the “Safety Begins with Me” program.

AIKEN, S.C. – Banners decorate overpasses, safety-related stories fill internal communications, posters adorn walls, and badges and stickers with the words “Safety Begins with Me” appear on badge lanyards, filing cabinets, building doors and vehicle dashboards.

The Savannah River Site (SRS) management team has introduced a new site-wide employee safety awareness campaign known as Safety Begins with Me.

“The results associated with this campaign have already exceeded our expectations,” DOE Savannah River Operations Office Manager David Moody said. “In fact, the buzz created by this effort is proof alone that our employees fully support our safety culture and pursuit of an injury- and incident-free work environment.”

As part of the campaign, all employees at SRS are expected to understand their personal accountability for safety performance and play an active role in helping SRS achieve a world-class reputation for safety.

“Time and again, I’ve heard it said and seen it displayed throughout our diverse workforce. Our employees truly believe the health and welfare of their co-workers is crucial and nothing less is acceptable,” said Dwayne Wilson, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) President and CEO. “We take safety very seriously at SRS.”

SRNS is the SRS management and operations contractor.

To date, the success of the campaign launched in fall 2011 has involved increasing employee focus on proven principles, such as DOE’s Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS), and encouraging characteristics of the culture that foster employee dedication to safety.  

ISMS is a five-step method for performing work safely. It calls for defining the work, identifying and analyzing hazards, developing and implementing hazard controls, performing the work within those controls, and providing feedback for continued improvement.

The campaign will help SRS employees to further internalize fundamental safety values, concepts, practices and principles to include:

SRS Safety Core Value

We conduct all aspects of our work safely, continuously improving in pursuit of injury-and incident-free performance.

SRS Safety Vision

We will be recognized for our world-class safety culture that builds on our history and anticipates the challenges of our current and future missions.

SRS Safety Principles

These are the key concepts that must stay in the forefront of our thoughts as we work each day.

  • The Integrated Safety Management System is the framework for our safety.
  • Our safety includes industrial, nuclear, security, environmental and radiological aspects.
  • We believe in zero incidents and injuries.
  • Our leaders will provide a safe environment.
  • We work safely as a condition of employment.
  • We report, investigate and act upon all incidents and safety issues.
  • We are empowered to prevent incidents.
  • We view all of our experiences, including our mistakes, as opportunities to learn.

“These all-important principles drive a safety-oriented mindset and nurture the safety and health of each and every employee,” Moody said. “This approach to our jobs is not an option at SRS, it is an accepted fact and required way of life that we all clearly recognize and hold dear.”

Said Wilson: “In fact, our lab, the Savannah River National Laboratory, just achieved 10 million hours worked without a lost-time injury.”

A green cross was chosen as the site’s primary symbol for the program and a visual reminder. The campaign emphasizes a return to basic safety practices and proven safety programs for the thousands of employees working at the 310-square-mile site in rural South Carolina.

A new slogan, “See Something Unsafe, Say Something for Safety,” is the latest campaign element introduced to employees as a part of the program. It is a value that is being rigorously promoted throughout the workforce. SRS employees fully expect their co-workers to proactively speak up and be willing to immediately stop work whenever a potentially unsafe condition exists.

“This new phase will further instill an automatic reaction within SRS employees that does not question the need for a prompt response to prevent a potential injury,” Moody said. “We care about each other and will watch out for each other.”

A video production was recently created by the SRS executive team to support the rollout of the program.

SRS employees are committed to create safe, innovative, effective solutions for our country’s most pressing initiatives. SRS offers in-depth nuclear knowledge for the nation and works to make the future of our country secure, energy independent and environmentally responsible.

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