Worker Health and Safety
The Department of Energy (DOE) ensures the protection of workers through its safety programs. These programs ensure the safety and health for DOE employees and its contractors.
As DOE's prime contractor, Boeing's health and safety program complies with Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requirements which includes electrical safety, ergonomics, hazardous materials control, and respiratory protection. The program includes engineering and administrative controls, written procedures, computer based training, and is administered by health and safety professionals. DOE's safety culture encourages every employee to recognize that safety is their personal responsibility.
Integrated Safety Management
Boeing implements DOE's Integrated Safety Management System which provides for the inclusion of safe work practices into the ETEC closure activities. The DOE website presents more information about their Integrated Safety Management System that ensures all work conducted by the DOE and it’s contracts is done safely with the proper safety controls.
SSFL Former Worker Interview Report
During 2010 and 2011 U.S. Department of Energy conducted over 100 interviews with former SSFL employees. The final report from these interviews can be found here
Worker Health Studies
The California Public Health foundation initiated a study of workers in 1993 to assess the possible health effects of exposure to radiation and chemicals. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health, working with the California Department of Health Services and funded by the DOE, conducted and epidemiologic study to determine if there is an relationship between exposure to radiation or chemicals and a particular disease.
DHS prepared a summary of the UCLA results and conclusions.
UCLA issued results of the radiation worker health study in a technical report.
- Epidemiologic Study to Determine Possible Adverse Effects to Rocketdyne/Atomics International Workers from Exposure to Ionizing Radiation, June 1997.
DOE's contractor, Boeing, prepared two summary documents to explain the results contained in the UCLA studies.
- Presenting the Rocketdyne Worker Health Study, September 1997.
- Twenty Important Questions About the Worker Health Study and Radiation Activities at Rocketdyne.
At the time the UCLA studies were released, current and former employees voiced concerns about the results of the study. In order to address the concerns, Rocketdyne and the United Aerospace Workers (UAW) including those working on the DOE contract initiated the follow-on Rocketdyne Worker Health Study in 1999.
The International Epidemiology Institute (IEI) Research team found no consistent or credible evidence that employment at Rocketdyne had adversely affected worker mortality. IEI summarized their findings in an executive summary:
Further detail about the follow-on Rocketdyne Worker Health Studies and the potential impacts of radiation and chemical exposures to Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) workers can be found on the Boeing website.
Former workers may claim compensation and benefits under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).