Plant gets highest safety designation given by OSHA and the federal government

 - By Linton Levy -

Constellation Energy has announced that its R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, N.Y., has been recognized for its outstanding safety program by achieving STAR status under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). STAR is the highest safety designation given by OSHA and the federal government.

Ginna employees celebrated the achievement in a ceremony, along with OSHA officials and local leaders. The highlight was the presentation of the VPP STAR flag by Mike Levy, OSHA’s New York State VPP manager.

Click for full size“This is a great day for Ginna workers. All of our employees continuously practice excellent teamwork and a personal commitment to safety,” said John Carlin, site vice president, Ginna Nuclear Plant. “They’re the ones looking out for each other every single day. They're the real stars.”

OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program is a cooperative effort among industry, workers and government to ensure safer workplaces. By designating safely operating facilities such as Ginna as VPP sites, OSHA officially recognizes the outstanding efforts of employers and employees for exemplary occupational safety and health. Of the seven million private industries in the country, only 1,100 are approved for the VPP. Approved facilities are designated in one of three categories, with STAR as the highest. Ginna is now among the approximately 100 STAR facilities in New York State.

Click for full sizeLocated 20 miles northeast of Rochester, Ginna generates 581 megawatts of electricity and has 430 Constellation Energy employees. It began commercial operation in 1970 and is one of America’s longest running nuclear power plants. Ginna’s grassroots-driven safety culture includes an active employee-led safety committee, which develops and oversees safety procedures and initiatives.

Applications for OSHA recognition are accepted from various work sites and assessed based on established VPP standards for a managed safety and health system. Applicants are verified through a review process that includes a thorough on-site evaluation performed by OSHA safety and health experts.

Constellation Energy (www.constellation.com) is a leading supplier of energy products and services to wholesale and retail electric and natural gas customers. It owns a diversified fleet of generating units located throughout the United States, totaling approximately 9,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and is among the leaders pursuing the development of new nuclear plants in the United States. The company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), its regulated utility in Central Maryland. A FORTUNE 500 company headquartered in Baltimore, Constellation Energy had revenues of $19.8 billion in 2008.