May 3, 2012 CONTACT: George Rangel
RICHMOND, Ky. – Following recent worker-safety related incidents, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass initiated a pause work on construction work activities Thursday at the , currently under construction at the Blue Grass Army Depot, in an initial step to improve worker safety, review safety procedures and speak to workers about construction hazards.
The recent incidents involved four Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recordable injuries involving cuts and bruises; and two “near-misses” where someone could have been hurt.
“Worker, public and environmental safety is of the highest importance, even if it means temporarily stopping construction to refocus everyone on the message – and our goal of Zero Accidents,” said Tom McKinney, project manager for Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “We take the safety of our workforce seriously and in the coming days and weeks we will continue to review our safety procedures for improvement, closely monitor construction activities and increase safety awareness for our workers and supervisors.”
Nearly 400 BGCAPP construction manual workers paused work today, and were released following an all-workforce meeting. The workers will return to work on Monday. During this safety pause, construction non-manual supervisors and employees remained at the BGCAPP construction site to review safety procedures and practices, and prepare for a safety-focused, all-workers meeting on Monday.
Following Monday’s meeting, construction workers will resume work activities in a phased approach. Initial activities will include evaluating work areas to organize excess materials, tools and equipment that could pose potential safety hazards. Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass will also re-emphasize with workers and supervisors the importance of safe work behaviors and ways to identify and fix potential construction safety hazards before work activities begin and at the end of each work day.
“Pausing work is another demonstration of BGCAPP’s commitment to every worker and a positive safety culture,” said Jeff Brubaker, BGCAPP site project manager. “Our goal is to safely build a plant that will protect the future workforce and surrounding community and worker safety is a vital component to our success.”
BGCAPP is being built to safely and efficiently destroy a stockpile of chemical weapons currently in storage at the Blue Grass Army Depot. The plant will destroy 523 tons of munitions containing blister and nerve agents. Currently, the pilot plant is under construction and work is progressing on a variety of facilities to support chemical demilitarization operations.
For more information on the project, please visit the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives website at www.pmacwa.army.mil.