Savannah River Site Contractor Reaches 10 Million Safe Hours Without Days-Away Injury

AIKEN, S.C. (February 23, 2022) — Savannah River Remediation (SRR), the liquid waste contractor at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS), has achieved its second-longest safety streak in its 12.5-year contract, reaching 10 million hours without a worker injury resulting in a missed workday.

This milestone can be attributed greatly to SRR's safety culture, which is built upon the company’s core values. SRR President and Project Manager Phil Breidenbach has stressed safety as a guiding principle for daily operations.

"When we pay attention to safety, everything else falls into place," Breidenbach said. "That's why safety sits at the top of our core values. Safety governs the way we think and work and, in the end, it enables our workers to go home in the same condition as when they reported for duty."

During its contract, SRR received awards for its numerous safety endeavors, including recognition from DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program, the National Safety Council, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

The 10 million safe-hours achievement includes the performance of SRR's direct employees and subcontractors. The term “safe hours” represents the hours worked without an injury that causes an employee to miss a day of scheduled work, constituting a days-away case.

During this period of exceptional safety, SRR workers have set records for production and mission accomplishment. They have conducted numerous activities that required significant attention to safety, including construction of mega-volume Saltstone Disposal Units, modifying storage positions for high-activity waste canisters, double-stacking canisters, batching and transferring 2.4 million gallons of salt waste to the Salt Waste Processing Facility, modifying tanks for retrieval activities, and grouting two high-activity tank farm structures—all while having the lowest number of reportable events in project history.

The achievement is the longest period since December 2018, when SRR's total workforce surpassed 11 million hours.

In 2021, an employee survey of SRR’s overall safety culture reached several affirming conclusions regarding the organization’s efforts to protect workers from injuries. The survey found SRR’s culture is significantly stronger than many organizations, as workers take ownership in their own safety behaviors, including their willingness and ability to question processes that could pose a safety hazard. Furthermore, long-term employees are doing a better job passing their safety behaviors and knowledge to the new generation of workers. The survey found significant improvements in seven of ten specific areas of the company’s safety culture, while the remaining areas remained consistent and strong.

SRR is a team of companies led by Amentum with partners Bechtel National, Jacobs, and BWX Technologies, Inc. Critical subcontractors for the contract are Orano, Atkins, and Amentum N&E Technical Services.

SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.