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Southeast Carpenters Help Parsons Achieve DOE Voluntary Protection Program Star Status

Congratulations to Parsons and carpenters from the South Eastern Carpenters Regional Council (SECRC) for capturing an elite safety award from the United States Department of Energy.

The DOE awarded Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status on the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF). This is a facility within the DOE’s Nuclear Reservation Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina. Parsons is the prime contractor on SWPF, designed to process the radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at the Savannah River site.

The $2.3 billion project, which is nearly completed, launched in June 2008 and has been a consistently safe and successful jobsite, fueled by the more than 100 union carpenters who work there. Considered 93% complete at the end of 2015, the project has a recordable injury case rate 70% below the industry average over the life of the project, according to the Parsons web site.

SECRC carpenter tasks included scaffolding, concrete forms, metal studs and drywall, computer floors, doors and hardware, carpet and VCT flooring, and rigging.

“We require that each carpenter working for Parsons must not only complete 40-hour scaffolding training, but they also must complete our customized MEVA form training,” said Larry Phillips, executive secretary-treasurer of the SECRC.

Through the Voluntary Protection Program, the DOE recognizes excellence in worksite safety and health performance. Star status is the program’s highest rating. To qualify at the site level, a workplace must pass a rigorous inspection and demonstrate a commitment to employee protection that exceeds OSHA standards. Key strategies include weekly safety meetings and worker recognition incentive programs.

“Safety is a core value at Parsons,” stated Frank Sheppard, Parsons Vice President and Project Manager in the Parsons news release about the award. “I am proud of our project team for their commitment to the well-being of their coworkers and for earning this well-deserved recognition by the DOE.”