Los Alamos company garners coveted safety award

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By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos Technical Associates recently achieved a significant safety milestone at one of its clean-up sites.  


LATA’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site remediation project in Ohio on Nov. 11 marked 1,000 consecutive days without a lost work day incident.  

The employees of LATA/Parallax Portsmouth, LLC, the U.S. Department of Energy’s environmental remediation contractor at the site, have surpassed more than 1.3 million safe work hours.  

“LATA is extremely proud of this kind of recognition because experience has taught us that working safely is the key to productivity. This is particularly important as the size and complexity of our projects increase,” said LATA’s Executive Vice President Dan Carlson in an interview at the company’s 999 Central Avenue headquarters Wednesday.

“We owe our dramatic growth over the past three decades to the technical skill and safety-consciousness of our employees. We continue to serve the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a LANS subcontractor, are proud of our deep roots here, and have built upon our work and lessons learned at Los Alamos to become a nationwide project delivery company for government and industrial clients in just about every state.”

LATA, the majority member of LATA/Parallax, is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business founded here in 1976.  

The LATA/Parallax scope at Portsmouth encompasses the environmental remediation of groundwater contamination areas, decontamination and decommissioning of inactive facilities, monitoring and reporting of environmental compliance and disposition of radioactive low-level and mixed hazardous/radiological waste.

LATA/Parallax Project Manager Bill Franz said in a recent announcement that he is, “proud of our achievements in safety. As project manager, I want to offer my thanks to the entire team ­— our employees, including the United Steel Workers (USW) and our subcontractors who have made this safety achievement possible.”

Franz further pointedout this is an especially significant safety achievement considering the acceleration of work under the Recovery Act. The company has hired and trained more than 180 new employees for Recovery Act projects within the last four months.  

“We are committed to continuing our excellence in safety and will not let our guard down as we accelerate cleanup activity at the site,” Franz said.

LATA’s project at the Department of Energy’s Portsmouth Site is performing more than $400 million in services, including $118.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) work to help jump-start the local economy, providing much needed jobs in southern Ohio, and allowing acceleration of five projects. These projects include three major decontamination and decommissioning efforts: a 21-acre electrical switchyard, an 18-acre cooling tower complex, and an 8,000 ft. chemical engineering building, all to be completed by June 2010.

Other accelerated projects include disposition of excess uranium materials and excavation and treatment of a challenging tricholoroethene contaminated groundwater plume at the site.

Nearly 400 jobs are expected to be saved or created by September 2011 on projects funded under the Recovery Act.