Blue Grass team members conducted a safety fair April 11-12 to focus the attention of new hires and project veterans on the unique safety culture required as the organization moves closer to operations that will destroy the chemical weapons stockpile.
“We’re hiring a lot of new people right now, and a lot of them have never before experienced a safety culture like ours,” said David Marko, Control Room operator, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass (BPBG), and chair of an employee-led group focused on worker safety. “So, we came up with the safety fair idea for them, and to re-focus and invigorate existing employees as we move closer to operations.”
The safety fair, consisting of eight stations demonstrating different safety-related topics from around the project, came about as a collaboration of employee-led teams from the Blue Grass plant and its sister site in Pueblo, Colorado, Marko said. The Blue Grass plant can benefit from safety lessons learned and initiatives developed there, and teams work together to implement the most effective safety practices for both plants.
“Along with the other teams, we partnered with Blue Grass departments such as medical, emergency management, waste management and the Laboratory to put on the fair,” Marko said. “The eight stations include situations employees may experience, such as how to properly classify and dispose of waste or how to determine issues with scaffolding. We want them thinking about safety as they do their work and interact with the plant.”
“It was pretty awesome to see all the teams participate and learn what other departments do,” said attendee Kevin Matthews, area supervisor, BPBG. “I learned some unique things about each department.”
Fair attendance was voluntary, and participation was strong, Marko said. Participants who made the rounds of all eight stations received a safety pin as part of a greater safety-culture program.
Two more days of the fair are scheduled for April 18 and 19, to make sure all workers have the chance to attend.