Federal Employees “Nuked” by Lack of Safety?

Oct 23, 2017

safety

Federal workers now face a greater risk of injustice at their workplace because of diminishing safety considerations.

After a recent investigation, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI)—a non-profit investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.—concluded that our nuclear weapons complex repeatedly experiences alarming safety problems, including the mishandling of radioactive and nuclear explosive materials, which contaminates work areas that have injured or endangered federal employees at the sites.

During a review of the Uranium Processing Facility under construction at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, technical staff at the Nuclear Facility Safety Board (NFSB) identified shortcuts contractors took that elevated the risk of a fire or nuclear chain reaction by eliminating protective barriers that had once been part of the plan.

Despite this, the chairman of the NFSB has told the director of the Office of Management and Budget that he favors downsizing or abolishing its safety inspectors.

Large private contractors that produce and maintain the country’s nuclear arms—most of which also contribute heavily to congressional election campaigns and spend sizable sums of money lobbying Washington—like this idea.

The chairman called the Board a “relic” of the Cold War that performs work duplicative to the safety oversight provided by the Energy Department (DOE) or the National Nuclear Security Administration, which finances the contractor’s work. The chairman has repeatedly voted against sending safety warning notices to the DOE And said that the Board’s recommendations have imposed a myriad of unnecessary costs for the department.

CPI’s Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith reported to USA Today (Thursday, October 19, 2017 edition) that other members of the Board said the chairman was not speaking for them and argued that other government agencies assigned to safeguard nuclear workers and the public near weapons sites are not capable of handling the task by themselves.

Submitted by Brad Harris, Senior Attorney of the Harris Federal Law Firm. Brad practices federal employee workers’ compensation law nationwide and can be reached at brad@harrisfederal.com or toll-free at (877) 226-2723. 

Message us & find out if you qualify today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles

6 Key Reasons Why Your Disability Retirement Application Was Denied

Have you recently applied for Federal Disability Retirement, only to receive a denial? The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is denying more initial applications than ever. However, it's important to understand that a denial does not mean the end of the road for...

Federal Employee Resources

Our ever growing library of federal employee resources give you the knowledge you need to make smart choices about your future.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need on-demand, from a team of federal employee benefits professionals.

View FAQ
Webinars

Federal Benefit Webinars

Twice per month we host webinars to help federal employees better understand their benefits and answer their questions LIVE.

See Webinar Schedule
Guides

Benefit Guides

From guides to detailed charts, these educational resources will help clarify confusing federal employee benefits topics.

See our resources