SRNS Employee Receives Rising Star Award for Creative Safety Initiatives

Mary Baird, Engineering Support and Soil and Groundwater Scientist, discusses the Integrated Safety Management System with a group of employees.

AIKEN, S.C. (Oct. 23, 2018) – SRNS employee Mary Baird, Engineering Support and Soil and Groundwater Remediation Scientist, received a Rising Star award at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in Houston, TX, on October 22. She was recognized for developing creative solutions that drove positive safety results at SRS.

Baird has led numerous safety-focused initiatives over the past two years to correct environmental and behavioral risks that have the potential to lead to employee injury. She was recognized for developing a creative campaign to bring awareness to hazards that contribute to slips, trips and falls; SRNS’ leading cause of employee injury in 2017.

Considering that SRNS has hired more than 2,000 new employees since 2014, Baird set out to develop a creative means of engaging and entertaining employees to drive safety results, ultimately helping employees remain injury-free at work and at home.

Using an inflatable tyrannosaurus rex costume, she created a character she named “Trip” to appear in training videos and relay information in a comical and easy-to-understand way. Quickly gaining popularity among employees, as a company-wide engagement tool and has been utilized in monthly safety meeting videos to draw employee attention to various hazards on Site.

In doing so, awareness of slips, trips and falls has been heightened, and injuries reduced by 45 percent across the company.

“Often, transfer of important knowledge is most successful when delivered in an entertaining way. Comedy is a great means to achieve engagement from a broad audience, it is easy to understand and relatable,” said Baird, who joined the Local Safety Improvement Team (LSIT) upon her arrival to SRS in 2014 and has since become chair. “Being actively involved in safety initiatives is an excellent way to pass on safety expectations and drive meaningful results”

Through her association with the LSIT, Baird has been able to learn more about the Site as well as new opportunities to become involved. She volunteered to teach a monthly Behavior Based Safety class and has successfully trained over 100 new employees to become active safety observers while introducing them to the importance the Site’s safety culture.

“My goal is to look back at my career and know that when I came to work, I made a difference. This accolade means so much to me because it proves that I am pointed in the right direction,” stated Baird.

“Mary’s creative initiatives have delivered results in safety engagement and enhanced awareness of potential hazards both on and off Site,” said SRNS President and CEO Stuart MacVean. “Her urge to continuously improve the Site’s safety culture is a great trait and we are safer for it.”

The NSC Rising Star of Safety Award recognizes safety leaders younger than 40 who show dedication to safety performance and culture at work. Baird is one of 38 individuals nationally recognized as a Rising Star of Safety for her efforts to reduce workplace injuries through safety involvement and leadership.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.

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