Paducah Local 550 Gains Recognition For Participation in ‘Take Two For Safety’ Team

The Department of Energy (DOE) this June named the “Take Two for Safety” team at the former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant cleanup site as the Outstanding Safety Culture Team.

Deactivation and remediation contractor Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership (FRNP) formed the “Take Two for Safety” team in 2021 with Local 550 health and safety representatives and professionals from safety and occupational medicine and communications.

FRNP is the first recipient of the safety culture award.

Pictured: Local 550 health and safety representatives (L-R) William R. “Billy Bob” Clark, Robert Fulton and Gloria Talley.

“Our plant manager, Myrna Redfield, put a team together and appropriated money to get people to think more about what they’re doing instead of rushing out and doing a job,” said William R. “Billy Bob” Clark, a Local 550 health and safety rep. “We had minor vehicle accidents and procedure step violations where people were not thinking and maybe had something on their mind.”

“Take Two for Safety” is about employees taking two minutes to stop, think and check to see they have the tools, equipment and personal protective equipment to do their jobs safely.

“One of the first steps we did to get members familiar with the program was to pick different groups until we reached everybody,” said Gloria Talley, a Local 550 health and safety rep.  “The contractors provided the sack lunches, and we met with different crews and talked to them about the project before it started and answered their questions.”

A major part of “Take Two for Safety” is having workers fill out a card when they see someone doing a job safely. Talley said disciplining workers for doing unsafe work is not part of the program.

Workers also use the cards to express safety concerns. The health and safety reps. meet with the person who submitted a card and help figure a solution to the safety problem. Twice a week they also meet with upper management to discuss the health and safety issues that workers flagged.

Talley said the focus on reporting positive health and safety actions is fun for everybody. Management holds an ice cream social each month for everyone who submits a card, and every month five cards are drawn and each person gets a gift. The industrial hygienist group chooses one card each month that they think has a message that would benefit everyone, and that person gets a good parking spot at work.

Clark, Talley and fellow health and safety rep. Robert Fulton said the DOE award made them feel proud, and it was a bonus for their hard work on the team.

“It makes the plant looked at in a positive way,” Fulton said. “By us being recognized by DOE and getting an award for that, it makes everybody out here a little bit proud.”

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