february 5, 2016
palo verde nuclear plant recertified with voluntary protection program star status by arizona division of occupational safety and health
PHOENIX – The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) has recertified the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station with its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) STAR designation.
The nation's largest nuclear power plant – which was first certified with VPP STAR status in 2013 and designated as one of Arizona's safest industrial workplaces – was again recognized for demonstrating "above and beyond" Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards in the state of Arizona.
"The employees and management at APS and Palo Verde have continually demonstrated that they take safety seriously at all levels of their organization and worksite," ADOSH Assistant Director Jessie Atencio said, while lauding the plant’s workforce for its leadership, communication, craftsmanship and accountability. "Palo Verde possesses an organizational culture with employees and management all working together to ensure injuries and illnesses do not happen."
VPP is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) highest program of recognition across the United States. It recognizes employers and workers in private and federal workplaces who have exemplified effective safety and health management systems to achieve injury and illness rates that are more than 50 percent below the national average.
To qualify for VPP status, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo an onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. VPP participants and sites earning the “STAR Site” designation are re-evaluated every three to five years in order to remain in the program.
“It is clear that our core values and behaviors result from a commitment by all Palo Verde employees and contractors to emphasize safety over competing goals,” said Bob Bement, Palo Verde Senior Vice President, Operations. “And when we say ‘safety,’ we are collectively referring to nuclear, industrial, radiological and safety culture. Every nuclear professional is involved in activities and decisions that impact their safety and the safety of their teammates. We’re proud to accomplish VPP STAR status and remain committed to sustaining this high level of safety performance.”
Recently appointed Director of the Industrial Commission James Ashley added, “This is an example of how the government can work with, and not against, the business community to help them increase workplace safety and decrease costs.”
Palo Verde is operated by APS and jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison Co., El Paso Electric Co., Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. The plant’s three units can generate more than 4 million kilowatts of safe, clean, reliable, low-cost electricity every hour – enough to serve about 4 million people. In addition to the energy produced, Palo Verde has an estimated annual economic impact of $1.8 billion in Arizona through taxes, salaries, purchases of materials and services, and more.
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).