GWI plan ensures focused, consistent approach to improvements

Posted: July 9, 2015 - 4:31pm

Three years ago as part of the Quality of Life initiative, Y‑12 Production developed a standardized checklist for evaluating livability in the production facilities from criteria used by restaurants, schools and other public facilities. This systematic approach for renovations, using a standardized evaluation form, helped ensure equality across the facilities. Now, this evaluation method has been adopted enterprise wide and incorporated into the CNS General Workplace Improvement Program Plan issued in January.

The intent of the GWI program is to identify, prioritize and execute activities that will improve the work environments at Pantex and Y-12. The plan provides guidance for prioritization and execution of GWI projects and will be updated annually to define and communicate planned projects.

GWI Program Manager Jim Reilly said, “GWI investments provide basic human needs and help maintain or improve personnel safety. The GWI plan will ensure a focused and consistent approach to improving the workplace environments at both sites.”

GWI projects will concentrate on common areas, such as breakrooms, office areas, lunchrooms, restrooms, change houses, lobbies and parking lots, with improvements to lighting, HVAC systems, plumbing, carpentry, roof repairs, painting and walking surfaces. Renovations will be prioritized based on safety risk, severity of existing conditions, number of people affected, as well as future use.

In FY 2014, $9.3 million was invested in GWI, and both sites combined addressed nearly 500 GWI-related projects, which included direct employee concerns identified through the Pantex Safety Culture Advocates and the Y-12 Employee-Driven Safety Campaign.

“The success of the GWI program is dependent on feedback from employees to identify scope and evaluate the effectiveness of completed improvement activities,” Reilly said. Currently, Y-12 building managers and Atomic Trades and Labor Council safety representatives are re-evaluating conditions in facility common areas by performing walk downs together and updating the 2012 ratings. A similar analysis is being performed at Pantex.

After the data are collected, the information from both sites will be evaluated and ranked by the Safety Culture Monitoring Panel to identify the highest-priority projects for the next fiscal year.

In FY 2015, several GWI projects are underway. At Pantex six restroom/shower areas in Buildings 12-5, 12-5C and 12-6 are being refurbished, and the hot water system in Building 12-103, one of the plant’s primary change areas, is being replaced. Similarly, at Y-12, the Post 8 pedestrian checkpoint has been enclosed to provide a climate-controlled area for personnel processing through the area. A second Y-12 project involves reconfiguring the Building 9119 auditorium to provide a modern, large group meeting area inside the protected area.

“CNS is committed to investing in the GWI initiative to improve workplace conditions. The poor conditions in some areas that resulted from years of deferred maintenance, as well as everyday use, do not provide optimal working conditions. Such conditions lower morale and degrade the safety conscious work environment,” said Paul Wasilko, CNS Safety Culture program manager.

Wasilko continued, “Our goal is to strengthen our safety culture by addressing the needed improvements. These conditions cannot all be fixed overnight — but we now have a process in place to identify and prioritize the needed improvements.”