The URS operation at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF), is celebrating 7 years and more than 15 million safe hours without any lost work time incidents. This unique worksite is located on the U.S. Army’s Deseret Chemical Depot in Stockton, Utah. According to Paul Andersen, URS Health and Safety Manager for the site, the last injury resulting in lost work time was Oct. 25, 2005, just a couple years after safety and health became a top priority at the TOCDF.
Since 2005, URS has adopted a leadership commitment to safety that started with General Manager Gary McCloskey. He has worked tirelessly with his management team and employees to establish a culture where all employees know that safety is the highest priority and is imperative to business success. Gary also places very high value on employee involvement and input with many active processes to empower employees toward continuous improvement. URS has also aggressively adopted the STS certification program (a certification program for supervisors offered through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals), with currently more than 100 “STS” certified supervisors and managers who share this safety philosophy and ownership with their employees.
After URS became a “Star Worksite” in 2009 through the OSHA VPP Program, hundreds of employees have stepped up to own specific areas of safety, which ultimately led to increased employee awareness and action for safety-related improvements and best practices. This morale has been reflected by the 100+ internal safety awards given out each year that recognize employee efforts and practices—the most notable of which is the “Condition of the Week” award for the best reported workplace condition, with a highest priority given to the significance of the condition and the actions taken to correct it.
URS employees at the site as well as members of the community have become proud of the success they have achieved with this project. According to Bob Peterson, Operations and Maintenance Manager for the site, “The National Safety Council Occupational Awards program has been an effective way to celebrate our safety success with our workforce.” In 2011, and again in 2012, URS received the Industry Leader Award from the Council based off of their astonishing recorded injury rate, which has steadily remained below 1% since 2008. As a corporation, URS has been very invested in safety and reducing injury rates as well as making injury reporting a high priority. This priority has been employee driven, indicating that safety is a core part of the culture at URS. The National Safety Council congratulates URS on this wonderful 7-year achievement.