Representatives of the Department of Defense's (DoD's) Voluntary Protection Program Center of Excellence (VPP-CX) are working to meet a safety and health goal established by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to reduce injuries at DoD sites nationwide. In order to accomplish this goal, DoD visited the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site in southeast Washington State on December 12, 2005, to learn about its exemplary safety programs and benchmark the site's VPP effort.
The Secretary of Defense, citing that "world-class organizations do not tolerate preventable accidents," has directed DoD-wide implementation of VPP with a single resource point or CX being designated to assist and coordinate the effort by all branches and services. Secretary Rumsfeld and his newly established Defense Safety Oversight Council (DSOC) have officially recognized that the safety program improvements required to achieve VPP recognition typically result in an accident reduction rate of 50 to 60 percent, and have therefore mandated that safety program improvements be targeted to achieving VPP recognition at DoD installations.
Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) has been selected as the organization that will establish and operate the new VPP-CX. The VPP-CX program contract is for $5 million per year for 4 years
Representatives of the VPP CX will share with other DoD organizations and sites how Hanford ensures worker safety while conducting work on one of the nation's largest cleanup projects with a wide array of radiological, chemical, and industrial hazards. DOE's Hanford Site has a number of best practices that it will share with DoD to help them achieve VPP recognition. The DoD's lead agent for the VPP-CX complimented DOE Hanford on having made tremendous accomplishments in improving safety culture and safety performance at its facilities, as evidenced by its recognition in the VPP and within the Voluntary Protection Program Participants' Association.
Please see the accompanying news release from Hanford for further details.