Safety attitudes at Y-12

A March 7 memo by staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board indicated that B&W Y-12, the government’s managing contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex, had recently released a report documenting ORAU’s evaluation of “safety culture perceptions and attitudes” among the Y-12 workforce.

According to safety board memo, the key conclusions included:

— Y-12 safety culture has a solid foundation based on personal accountability and a questioning attitude.

— Participants indicated they were willing to report mistakes and safety issues.

— Lower mean scores for many of the 10 safety culture elements were observed for the hourly workforce.

— In Y-12’s production organization, lower perceptions of the safety culture were mostly related to the timely resolution of safety concerns. “The report postulates that this may be due to the fact that this population works in aging facilities with significant maintenance challenges and limited funding.”

— A similar conclusion was noted for lower scores in Facilities, Infrastructure and Services. These workers may feel the impact of funding shortfalls that “lead to deferred maintenance and are expected to maintaining aging facilities at Y-12.”

— The complexity of work planning got good and bad marks, with some workers — at both management and hourly pay scales — noting that some work processes seem to be “overkill.”

B&W Y-12 refused to release the report on the plant’s safety attitudes, saying it was not for public consumption.

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This entry was posted in ATLC, B&W, NNSA, nuclear, Y-12 on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.