Mission Support Alliance will be flying the Department of Energy safety star flag after being awarded Star status in DOE's Voluntary Protection Program.
The Star status, DOE's highest level of excellence in employee safety and health programs, covers the Hanford contractor's mission support services group. It provides services across Hanford, including utilities, training and information technology.
"I think of MSA as our top performer in safety," said Matt McCormick, manager of the DOE Hanford Richland Operations Office, at a Richland ceremony to present the award.
The nuclear reservation looks to MSA to be a leader in safety because of its responsibility to implement safety standards across the site, its sitewide training programs and its support to all the contractors in day-to-day work, he said.
"Safety isn't something that holds up productivity," said Frank Armijo, MSA president. "It's something that makes sure we can get work done."
It's critical that workers not relax their vigilance on safety now but continue to focus on it every day, he said.
"Receiving VPP Star status exemplifies the collaborative working environment we have within MSA's management and work force," said Rocky Simmons, an MSA Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council safety representative.
The Voluntary Protection Program recognizes contractors and workers who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain workplace injury and illness rates well below the national Bureau of Labor averages for their industries.
DOE uses VPP as a tool for promoting excellence in safety to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses by focusing on hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis and training, management commitment and worker involvement.
The Star status awarded Friday does not cover the HAMMER training center or MSA's safeguards and security organization.
However, the HAMMER training center has had Star status since 2002, and it recently was renewed.
The safeguards and security organization, which includes the Hanford Patrol and Hanford fire service, has received Merit status and is working toward Star status.
* Annette Cary: 509-582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org; more Hanford news at hanfordnews.com