GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- It has been more than five years since workers on the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project in Utah had a lost-time injury or illness. This represents roughly 2.2 million hours of safe work.
Although the project has a successful safety record, management continues to seek ways to improve the safety culture and identify and address potential vulnerabilities.
“We cannot rest on our laurels; otherwise, we put our workers and project at risk,” said Moab Federal Project Director Donald Metzler.
The site’s remedial action contractor, Portage, Inc., is resurrecting use of work planning and improvement teams that were first created on the project during EM’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Program to make employees an integral part of finding solutions to safety issues in various processes used on the project.
Teams are being created for handling mill debris buried in the uranium mill tailings pile at the Moab site and for transporting and placing the material in the disposal cell near Crescent Junction, Utah. Other teams will address interactions between workers and heavy machinery, and facility and equipment maintenance.
“For us to have any real buy-in, we must involve employees in the process from the beginning,” explained Portage Project Manager Jeff Biagini.
The project has relocated more than 45 percent of the mill tailings pile at Moab to a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission-approved disposal cell near Crescent Junction, 30 miles away from the Colorado River.