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America's Safest Companies: Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International Inc.

America's Safest Companies: Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International Inc.

"At Advanced Technologies and Laboratories, employees drive the safety culture, taking ownership of key activities such as hazards analysis, Zero Accident Council meetings and the annual VPP self-assessment process." – William Leonard, environment, safety and health manager

Advanced Technologies and Laboratories (ATL) boasts that its biggest asset is its staff of engineers, scientists, chemists and technical specialists who perform a variety of environmental-management services for government and corporate clients. That's especially true when it comes to the firm's EHS efforts.  

"The safety culture is driven by the employees," says Bill Leonard, environment, safety and health manager for ATL. "They take ownership of the hazards-analysis process. They take ownership of leading and facilitating the Zero Accident Council meetings. They take ownership of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), facilitating the annual self-assessment and developing the safety-improvement plan that comes out of that. So it's really all about the employees."

As a prime contractor for the Department of Energy (DOE) in the cleanup of the Hanford Site, ATL workers encounter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards, in addition to the ergonomic and safety hazards found in more traditional workplaces.

"ATL employees play an active role in addressing those hazards," says Danielle DeLaughder, ES&H program lead for ATL. "Before releasing any new procedure, employees use ATL's hazard-analysis checklist to identify applicable hazards and implement proper controls into procedures to protect the employees from those hazards."

Employees participate in monthly safety inspections, looking for and correcting potentially unsafe conditions and housekeeping issues throughout the laboratory and office areas. They also have stop-work authority, and ATL emphasizes that they can exercise that authority without fear of retribution.

Within their first 30 days (and annually thereafter), new hires can request a workstation evaluation to determine if any ergonomic adjustments need to be made. The firm keeps a close eye on ergonomic issues by monitoring injury rates with and without repetitive-motion impacts.

At press time, ATL had maintained a perfect TRC rate and DART rate dating back to February 2011, and recently received.

Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International Inc.
Gaithersburg, Md.
100 employees/7 sites/2 EHS professionals


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