Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL employees recognized for workplace safety

ORNL Director Thom Mason stands in front of the World Class safety banner presented Thursday to ORNL by Battelle.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 30, 2008 — The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory recognized its safest fiscal year in its history Thursday with a ceremony during the lab's annual Fall Festival. The event recognized the lab's achievement of Battelle's World-Class safety standard of less than 1 serious injury for every 1 million hours worked.

"Everyone at ORNL is to be congratulated for their contributions to preventing injuries," ORNL Director Thom Mason said. "We simply cannot be a successful, world-class science laboratory without also striving to be world-class in our safety performance."

The lab has reduced serious injuries by 90% since FY 2000 and 30% from last year, Mason said, to join a small group of the most successful and safest companies who have achieved this goal.

"Certainly, it puts us in a category with a very select group of companies and institutions," Mason said. "They are able to conduct work that's often very challenging in a way that is safe and protects the employees and makes sure they go home every night just as healthy as they are first thing in the morning."

At Thursday's event, Jim Tarpinian, Battelle Corporate Vice President for ES&H, read a letter from Battelle's retiring CEO Carl Kohrt and Jeff Wadsworth, former ORNL director who assumes Kohrt's role in January.

"Please accept our congratulations and our heartfelt thanks for working safely this year. We encourage you to stay the course toward eliminating all injuries at the laboratory," the letter said.

"ORNL is already recognized for practicing 'world-class' science. Today we are proud to add to your impressive list of noteworthy achievements by presenting ORNL with the first-ever 'Battelle World-Class Safety Award.' "

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.