Newswise — Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the leading national Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory in basic and applied nuclear and radiological science research and fuel fabrication, is the recipient of the 2017 Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA), presented annually by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). INL received the award because of its exemplary work in integrating its health and safety programs and its long history of commitment to the safety and health of its workers.
The Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA) recognizes quality occupational and environmental health programs, identifies model programs and outstanding practices with measurable results and encourages organizational self-assessment and continuous improvement. Recipients of the annual award are judged on the strength of their health and safety programs for individual employees, their programs to protect the environment, their leadership and management, and for their efforts to create an overall work culture that stresses healthy lifestyles and safety consciousness. Only organizations with the most exemplary health and safety practices are considered for the award.
ACOEM recognized INL for the quality of its health and safety programs, covering 7,000 employees and contractors working at numerous sites that together encompass an area roughly the size of Rhode Island. Key programs in place include the Safety Observations Achieve Results (SOAR), WorkPace®, Keyboard Ergonomics, Post-offer Employment Testing (POET), and a new Back and Shoulder Initiative.
Safety is a core value of the company and is reflected in its mission statement. Likewise the management teams make safety and health part of the leading performance indicators for the company. ACOEM also singled out INL because it has consistently met its health and safety goals, creating innovative programs along the way. From its on-site health clinics and fitness centers to its state-of-the art emergency response system, the CHAA recognizes INL’s leadership in integrating health and safety in the workplace.
“INL’s 117 geographically dispersed laboratories and administrative buildings create a unique logistical challenge in communicating, coordinating and providing health and safety programs,” said Stewart Curtis, DO, Occupational Medicine Program Director for INL. “As the preeminent nuclear energy laboratory, the health and safety of every employee, both on and off the job, is critical to INL’s mission. INL demonstrates world-class health and safety behavior, performance and environmental stewardship in all aspects of work.”
Management of the laboratory is contracted to Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA), a not-for-profit corporation.
“When we speak of ‘a culture of health and safety’ we mean ‘integration’ in the true sense of the word – a condition in which employees’ physical well-being and safety is optimized by the environment and philosophy of the company they work for,” said ACOEM President James Tacci, MD. “INL exemplifies this approach through its innovated and exemplary health care programs spread across a vast network of laboratories and administrative buildings and as such it is entirely fitting that INL’s accomplishments be recognized through the CHAA.”
The Corporate Health Achievement Award was established in 1997 as way of encouraging healthier and safer work environments. The ACOEM award program is considered the most rigorous and comprehensive of its kind, requiring extensive documentation from companies of their programs and practices and an onsite visit by a team of ACOEM evaluators. The CHAA recognizes quality occupational and environmental health programs.
Applicants in the competition receive detailed feedback from ACOEM on their programs regardless of whether they receive an award, which helps raise awareness of best practices and, in the long run, improve standards for employee health and safety. “Safer, healthier workplaces mean increased productivity, more job satisfaction, less harmful environmental impact and enhanced community relationships,” said Dr. Tacci.
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The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) represents nearly 5,000 physicians specializing in occupational and environmental medicine. Founded in 1916, ACOEM is the nation’s largest medical society dedicated to promoting the health of workers through preventive medicine, clinical care, disability management, research, and education. For more information, visit www.acoem.org.