America’s Safest Companies 2019: UCOR
Founded in 2002, EHSToday’s America’s Safest Companies Awards recognize companies who have achieved innovative and strategic safety goals.
At UCOR, an AECOM-led partnership with Jacobs, management, the Department of Energy and the workforce form a team that is dedicated to the protection of one another and the environment.
A culture of caring and excellence is practiced throughout the company. Management exemplifies the willingness to invest in recruitment and development, a wellness program and various employee engagement activities.
“Success is built on a solid safety culture that operates in accordance with world-class EHS programs,” says Michelle Keever, senior safety and health program specialist. “We are known for work completed ahead of schedule and under budget—and safely. Efficiencies and innovations realized through the use of safe, creative and innovative approaches have resulted in more than $100 million in cost savings over the life of our project.”
UCOR regularly introduces operational and safety technologies and adds equipment and systems designed to ensure safety and successful mission accomplishment.
The company utilizes high-tech monitoring equipment and virtual reality training. Equipment and facility/infrastructure system upgrades designed to protect workers and the environment can be seen throughout UCOR worksites.
When it comes to safety, UCOR is not satisfied with minimum standards. Because work is performed in a hazardous setting, the company goes above and beyond to set the bar high.
Management’s “propensity for conservative decision-making and concern for the safety of the workforce” was evidenced by the decision to shut down operations for five days due to snow and icy conditions in 2015, Keever says.
During the snowstorm, other area employers experienced a high rate of injuries because of slippery walking and working surfaces and hazardous driving conditions. UCOR management made the business decision to mitigate financial hardships by paying for unplanned time away from work due to the inclement weather. This decision included building trades personnel who, by contract, would not normally have received payment for time off the job.
“Our performance defines our reputation,” Keever says.