For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris Caldwell
UCOR Wins VPP Innovation Award for Mobile Safety Observations
Oak Ridge, Tenn., August 29, 2022 – The Voluntary Protection Program Participants’ Association (VPPPA) recognized United Cleanup Oak Ridge (UCOR) for a major safety innovation last week at the VPPPA’s annual Safety + Symposium in Washington, D.C. UCOR has implemented a new digital interface that allows workers to report potential safety hazards using their mobile phones. This technology expansion has increased the practical application of hazard recognition skills and more than doubled the number of safety observation submittals.
VPPPA is a leading safety industry organization that helps worksites achieve continuous improvement meeting their occupational health and safety goals. The VPP Innovation Award recognizes an individual, company, or worksite that has developed and successfully implemented an innovation designed to resolve a worker safety and health challenge.
UCOR’s safety observation card program is a proactive effort to enhance the company’s safety culture. Through this program, workers submit observations of at-risk behaviors and conditions found in the work area. They also use the tool to recognize coworkers who are working safely. Prior to implementation of this new interface, safety observations were submitted using paper cards or through a web-based application accessible via company desktop computers. Data from paper card submittals had to be manually entered into the program system, which created a lag between the observation and input into the reporting system.
Clint Wolfley, UCOR’s Safety Systems and Services Manager, said that the new tool is an important expansion of a program that has been in place for nine years. “Since approximately 40 percent of the UCOR workforce doesn’t have access to company computer systems, the ability for them to submit observations from their mobile phones is a dramatic improvement,” Wolfley said. “Due to its accessibility and ease of use, the mobile interface has increased observation submittals from about 200 to over 450 per month.”
Another benefit of the mobile interface is the decreased amount of time required to identify and address at-risk behaviors and conditions. When an observation points to an unsafe condition, a corrective action is assigned, and the condition is promptly corrected. Feedback is provided throughout the process to keep our workforce informed of corrected conditions.
UCOR is the DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management’s lead environmental cleanup contractor. The company is a partnership between Amentum, Jacobs, and Honeywell. The company’s nearly 2,000 workers are dedicated to safely reducing environmental risk on the Oak Ridge Reservation while helping DOE’s Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration continue their important missions. Learn more about the company at UCOR.com.
UCOR NR 2022-07