Bechtel hits safety mark at US waste treatment site

Engineering major Bechtel said Monday that workers at its Hanford waste treatment plant in Washington, also known as the Vit plant, surpassed 11 million hours without an injury resulting in a lost work day.

More than 2,700 people at the Vit Plant worked safely for more than a year and a half to achieve the milestone, according to the company.

“Reaching 11 million safe hours as a project is an outstanding achievement that required everyone involved in the project, whether at our construction site or in our offices, to work safely and watch out for each other,” said Frank Russo, Bechtel’s project director.

“This accomplishment demonstrates our strong safety culture and the safety commitment of the people working on this project.”

Bechtel is designing and building the Vit plant for the US Department of Energy (DoE).

The facility will immobilize 56 million gallons of radioactive waste currently stored in underground tanks in southeastern Washington state, Bechtel said.

The waste, a byproduct of plutonium-production during World War II and the Cold War era, will be turned into glass using proven vitrification technology.

Bechtel said it cultivates a culture of quality and safety through three focus areas: leadership, employee engagement, and organizational learning.

The company said it provides employees with information and tools needed to actively implement those focus areas in everyday work.

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