As U.S. government sequester statements and financial figures swirl in dire predictions, what seems to be lost is the real-time impact on American workers, like the more than 2,200 construction employees fulfilling America’s nonproliferation commitment at the MOX Project in South Carolina.
This highly trained and uniquely skilled workforce recently surpassed 14 million consecutive safe work hours without a single lost workday due to injury. To put this amazing achievement in perspective: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a typical construction site in the United States experiences one lost workday for every 125,000 hours worked. In the span of 14 million hours worked, a typical site would have averaged 112 lost workdays.
But even within this high-performing safety conscious work environment, the drumbeat threat of pending budget sequestration is taking its toll.
The safety-focused nuclear energy culture measures all incidents on a worksite, no matter how small. After heightened media budget rumors, the MOX Project site noted three minor-injury recordable safety incidents in just a three-day period, none of these requiring a workday loss.
In comparison for the year 2013 prior to these incidents, the site only had two recordable safety incidents, both without a workday loss.
Sequestration uncertainty is not a faceless crisis; its potential impact is personified by the more than 2,200 American workers, their families, their communities, and the national supply chain of U.S. materials and goods all focused on safely completing the MOX facility.
Included in the site’s world-class environmental, safety and health program, is a comprehensive safety management system that combines management leadership, employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.
Our focus on these safety fundamentals will help us deliver on our commitments. We encourage those making budget decisions to deliver on their commitments, and support us in fulfilling America’s nonproliferation agreement through completing the MOX Project.