A Rising Star in Southern Oregon
Iberdrola Renewables’ Klamath Cogeneration Project Achieves Star Status from Prestigious U.S. Safety Program
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April 26, 2011
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – After ten years of sustaining a highly proactive safety culture, Klamath Energy’s Klamath Cogeneration Project was recently recognized with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Association’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status. This is the highest designation for safety and health excellence in the United States.
Established in 1982, VPP is a government-operated certification program that promotes and recognizes facilities with outstanding occupational safety and health management systems. Klamath Cogeneration Project is the first company to be awarded VPP Star status in Klamath County. In fact, the latest records from July 2009 show that only some 2,500 sites across the entire country and only 27 sites in Oregon meet the rigorous criteria to participate in VPP, making Klamath Cogeneration Project part of an elite group of worksites to be recognized for safety excellence.
“The evaluation team noted that while management has done an excellent job of setting a proactive example, providing necessary resources and leading by example, it is the employees at your facility who are truly driving workplace health and safety at this worksite,” wrote Michael Wood, administrator of Oregon OSHA, in a letter to plant manager Ray Martens.
The 22-person team at Klamath Cogeneration Project in Klamath Falls, Ore., one of the most advanced gas-fired power plants in the West, submitted an extensive application to start the evaluation to achieve VPP Star status, in coordination with Klamath Generation Peaking Plant. In addition, the team passed an extended, rigorous audit and provided interviews and on-site reviews to OSHA officials and industry professionals. In total, the application and evaluation process, and continuous improvement implemented to meet the “Above and Beyond Compliance” criteria, spanned more than two years.
“As a manager, this is about the best you can hope for because it means that our employees are personally dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. It helps us achieve our most important goal of having everybody go home safe, every day,” said Ray Martens, Plant Manager at Klamath Cogeneration Project.
Worksites that participate in the VPP are likely to see many benefits – several of which are evident in the safety record at Klamath Cogeneration Project, such as:
- Fewer injuries and illnesses. In fact, VPP sites on average are more than 60 percent below industry standards.
- Fewer injuries and illnesses mean greater profits. Since 1982, VPP worksites have saved more than a billion dollars.
- Increased morale among employees and management.
- A cooperative relationship with OSHA.
- Positive community recognition.
Klamath Cogeneration Project’s VPP Star status will be in effect for the next three years. During that time, the plant will continue to improve its systems, ensuring its leadership in safety and health excellence.
“I am extremely excited about this employee-driven initiative,” said Ralph Currey, CEO of Iberdrola Renewables. “Our Klamath Cogeneration crew has demonstrated a consistent, personal commitment to safety over the years that serves as a role model for the rest of the company and our industry.”
About Iberdrola Renewables:
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. is headquartered in Portland, Ore., with more than 850 employees at the end of 2010. It is part of the world's leading provider of wind power with more than 12,000 MW of wind power installed globally, plus over 600 MW of clean gas-fired generation and 129 BCF of owned and contracted gas storage, making it one of the few companies capable of providing structured energy solutions and allowing large industrial and commercial customers to manage risks and uncertainty in the natural gas and power industries. www.iberdrolarenewables.us