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ORISE Achieves National Recognition as a DOE ‘Legacy of Stars’ Site

Oct. 6, 2008

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) was recently recognized as one of six U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites across the nation to be named a 2008 Legacy of Stars site. The designation is awarded to organizations that participate in the DOE Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and have received the organization’s Star of Excellence Award for three consecutive years.

VPP LogoTo accomplish this, ORISE—which is administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)—has maintained its Star level status through the continued pursuit of safety and health excellence, the implementation of outstanding outreach and mentoring efforts, and by maintaining a recordable injury rate that is 75 percent better than the average of comparable U.S. businesses.   

The new distinction comes on the heels of ORISE’s successful DOE-VPP recertification, which consisted of a Headquarters team conducting a two-week onsite review in which programs were reviewed, managers and employees interviewed, and records and documents examined. DOE examined five key areas at ORISE: Management Leadership; Employee Involvement; Worksite Analysis; Hazard Prevention and Control; and Safety and Health Training.

In a letter/report to ORAU President Ron Townsend, VPP audit team and Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer for the DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security Glenn Podonsky congratulated ORAU for its latest achievements in safety:

“In the five years since its certification as a DOE-VPP Star site, ORAU has effectively continued its dedication and commitment to the pursuit of safety excellence. That commitment was evident throughout the organization.”

DOE Oak Ridge Operations Manager Gerald Boyd commented that ORISE’s commitment to health and safety excellence extends well beyond internal compliance.

“ORISE has the distinction of being the first DOE site in Oak Ridge to earn VPP Star site status,” said Boyd. “As such, they are doing an excellent job of sharing their expertise with other contractors and serving as a model for upholding VPP standards for safety and health in all operations.”

ORISE has previously mentored Honeywell International Federal Manufacturing and Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M., Wackenhut Services, Inc., in Oak Ridge; Shaw Environmental Group in Oak Ridge; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Chamblee, Ga. Today, ORISE continues its mentoring activities with Wackenhut Services, Inc., and has also added EnergX LLC, and Pro2Serve.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy institute focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists. ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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