Y-12 recertified in DOE Voluntary Protection Program
Site maintains highest level of participation
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Y-12 recently received recertification as a Star-level participant in the Department of Energy Voluntary Protection Program (DOE-VPP), marking more than a decade in the safety program.
DOE created the DOE-VPP program to encourage and recognize excellence in occupational safety and health protection. Since its implementation, DOE-VPP has demonstrated that cooperative action among government, industry, and labor can achieve excellence in worker safety and health.
DOE-VPP highlights proven benefits to participating sites, including improved labor/management relations, reduced workplace injuries and illnesses, increased employee involvement, improved morale, reduced absenteeism, and public recognition.
Participation at the highest level
DOE-VPP consists of three levels of participation—Star, Merit, and Demonstration. The Star level is the highest level and recognizes outstanding protectors of employee safety and health.
Maintaining this level of participation requires periodic reviews. After a review in 2023, Y-12 was notified in December that it was approved for continued participation at the Star level. This approval recognizes that Y-12 has met the requirements for outstanding safety and health programs. Y-12 first achieved DOE-VPP Star status in 2012.
Safety is essential
Y-12’s mission is to maintain a safe and effective U.S. nuclear weapons deterrent, reduce global threats, and fuel the U.S. Nuclear Navy. Given the inherent dangers of that work, maintaining the safety of our workforce is imperative. DOE-VPP is one tool that helps ensure employees’ safety.
Notably, Y-12 and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, which are both managed and operated by Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS), achieved a combined 13-million hours worked by employees without a lost-time injury in Fiscal Year 2023. That accomplishment, along with a year-over-year reduction in overall recordable injuries at the sites, represented the best safety performance in CNS history.
Y-12 Site Manager Gene Sievers said, “Safety is essential in everything we do at Y-12. Programs like VPP help us focus on safe behaviors and expectations, and it’s a point of pride for us that we’ve participated at the Star level since 2012.”
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. Bechtel National, Inc. is the lead member of CNS; minority members include Leidos, Inc.; ATK Launch Systems, LLC; and SOC LLC. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, and CNS performs its work with a focus on performance excellence and the imperatives of safety, security, zero defects, and delivery as promised.
Kathryn King, APR
Office (865) 315.5996
Y-12 employees participate in an onsite safety event in 2023. Ongoing education is an example of Y-12’s commitment to worker safety, which is recognized by the site’s Star-level designation in the Department of Energy Voluntary Protection Program.