LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) of the State of Nevada’s Division of Industrial Relations recently recognized the Boulder City-based utility company, Desert Star Energy Center (DSEC), for successfully renewing its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) status. The VPP in Nevada recognizes employers and workers who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.
With the support of SCATS, DSEC has fostered a culture of safety in its plant. DSEC is one of the few utility companies in Nevada with VPP status. The company was first awarded the VPP in 2009 with recertifications in 2012, 2015 and 2020. The Nevada location found such great success in the VPP program that its sister site – Palomar Energy in San Diego – became a VPP site in 2018. Since entering the VPP program, the company has implemented several new safety ideas to better protect its workforce.
“With SCATS as the new Nevada VPP coordinators, the inspection and recertification was a huge success,” said Ronzel G. Richards, safety coordinator at DSEC. “The SCATS team is a great resource, and they had many ideas to help us achieve our recertification status. I look forward to our continued partnership.”
DSEC is part of an elite group of businesses that have successfully entered the Nevada VPP program by maintaining exemplary safety and health protocol. In the VPP, management, labor, and SCATS work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. These goals are achieved through a system focused on hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, management commitment and worker involvement.
“We commend Desert Star Energy Center for the accomplishment of once again renewing their VPP status,” said Todd Schultz, Chief Administrative Officer for SCATS. “DSEC is one of the only utility companies in Nevada with VPP status, and also one of our longest-standing VPP program members across any industry. They have shown serious commitment to keeping their workforce safe for many years.”
To participate, employers must apply with SCATS and undergo a rigorous on-site evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the program. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA Enforcement programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees.
Businesses interested in the VPP program can contact SCATS at (702) 486-9140 or visit the SCATS website www.4safenv.state.nv.us.
For more information on SCATS, including details on health and safety recognition programs or for a schedule of training courses offered by SCATS free of charge, please call 1-877-4SAFENV or visit www.4safenv.state.nv.us.
About Desert Star Energy Center
Desert Star Energy Center is a 500 MW power generating facility owned by San Diego Gas & Electric, located in Boulder City, NV. The plant was commissioned in 2000 and has not had a lost-time incident since. The plant has 23 full-time employees and during plant outages, can have up to a hundred contractors onsite. At DSEC, we strive for safety excellence and work hard every day to make sure our employees and contractors go home safe.
About Nevada’s Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS)
The Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS), part of Nevada’s Division of Industrial Relations, provides free and confidential consultation and safety services to assist businesses in Nevada to be in compliance with OSHA standards. SCATS’ top priority is to help Nevada businesses keep their employees safe and offers on-site consultation services designed to help employers recognize and control potential safety and health hazards at their workplaces, improve their safety and health programs, and assist in training employees. SCATS also offers Workplace Safety and Health Training classes in Northern and Southern Nevada. Bilingual services are also available. For more information visit: 4safenv.state.nv.us.