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Vit Plant employees work 12 million hours without a day-away-from-work injury

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RICHLAND, Wash., -  Employees working on the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant – better known as the Vit Plant – have worked more than 12 million hours without a day away from work due to an injury.  July 16 marked two years since the last injury involving a day away from work.

"Construction is one of the most dangerous industries.  For our nearly 3,000 employees to maintain the discipline and focus needed to work two years without a days-away-from-work injury case speaks to their dedication and commitment to safety," said Project Director Frank Russo.  Russo works for Bechtel National Inc., which is designing and building the Vit Plant for the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Safety is a core value for us.  Management sets expectations and provides support, but safety leadership comes from all levels of the organization.  Workers lead many of our safety programs. We believe their engagement is a key ingredient in our success – whether it be industrial or nuclear safety," said Russo.

Vit Plant employees are performing heavy construction, which includes operating large cranes and equipment, transporting materials and working at heights.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the days-away-from-work injury rate for the nonresidential building construction industry was 0.8 injuries per 100 workers in 2010, the last year the Vit Plant had a lost-day injury.  Since 2011, the days-away-from-work injury rate for the Vit Plant's 3,000 employees has been zero.