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OSHA Publishes Design-for-Safety Case Study

OSHA recently published a case study that describes how Boise, Idaho-based Washington Group International incorporated its design-for-safety process into the construction of the Department of Energy's advanced mixed-waste treatment facility in eastern Idaho.

The study – “Washington Group International Designs and Builds a Mixed-Waste Treatment Facility” – was developed through the OSHA and Washington Group International Alliance.

“I am extremely proud of the work between OSHA and the Washington Group on this project," OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. said. “The alliance program works to help employers and employees prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace. As a result of the Washington Group's efforts, the positive impact on the safety and health of the project's employees and on its bottom-line costs was significant, including 3.3 million hours without a lost-time injury or 1 day away from work."

Washington Group President and CEO Stephen Hanks said that integrating safety into all phases of a project is the moral obligation of every Washington Group employee.

“Management and all employees should approach every project with the expectation of a perfect safety record,” Hanks said.

Design-for-Safety Measures Reduce Injuries, Equipment Damage

In 1997, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. awarded the Washington Group a $300 million contract to engineer, procure and construct the advanced mixed-waste treatment facility to process nearly 65,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste stored at the Energy Department's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

“The Washington Group has committed to sharing the safety programs and practices it used during the project with small construction contractors in an effort to help the entire construction industry improve its overall safety,” said Brad Giles, vice president of safety, health and security for Washington Group International. “The company's senior managers believe that, without exception, design-for-safety measures taken to protect employees resulted in the elimination of personal injury, lost time and equipment damage, which, in turn, results in reduced insurance premiums, medical costs and impacts to project schedules.”

OSHA worked with Washington Group International through the alliance program's Construction Roundtable Design-for-Safety Workgroup. The alliance between OSHA and Washington Group International was signed in 2002, renewed in 2003 and again in 2006.

In 2004, OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS named Washington Group International one of America's Safest Companies. In 2006, the magazine bestowed the honor upon Washington Group International subsidiary Rust Constructors.

(For more on America's Safest Companies, visit

TAGS: Archive OSHA
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