SCATS recently recognized the Boulder City-based Copper Mountain Solar for successfully renewing their Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) status. Copper Mountain Solar earned its first VPP award in 2015 for excellence in workplace health and safety. The VPP in Nevada recognizes employers and workers whom 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.
Copper Mountain Solar includes the Copper Mountain Solar 1, 2, 3, and 4 solar plants. Copper Mountain Solar 1 and 4 are wholly-owned by Sempra Renewables. Copper Mountain Solar 2 and 3 are jointly owned by Sempra Renewables and Con Edison Development.
“We are pleased that the State of Nevada has recognized our Copper Mountain Solar facility for its dedication to safety,” said Mike Gibson, regional solar manager for Sempra Renewables. “This award is a testament to the hardworking employees and their commitment to the health and safety of our operations and our community.”
Through working with SCATS, Copper Mountain Solar’s bloodborne pathogen program was revolutionized by adjusting plant policy to increase the overall effectiveness and the state of readiness for the program. Copper Mountain Solar established first aid as a required collateral duty for all employees, developed a more robust exposure control plan, modified incident reports to allow tracking of “exposure incidents” and trained for all policy enhancements. Also, with assistance from the SCATS team, Copper Mountain Solar identified and mitigated issues with aging Arc Flash stickers and signage. They created an index that technicians can reference prior to the start of each job, which will save countless man-hours and resources.
“We commend Copper Mountain Solar for their continued dedication to workplace health and safety,” said SCATS Chief Administrative Officer Todd Schultz. “Renewing their VPP status exemplifies true dedication to keeping their employees safe and healthy at work.”
Copper Mountain Solar joins 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.
To participate, employers must apply with SCATS and undergo a rigorous on-site evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. 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.
Sempra Renewables’ Mesquite Solar facility in Arizona is also recognized as a Voluntary Protection Programs Star facility by the State of Arizona's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Mesquite Solar 1 is jointly owned by Sempra Renewables and Con Edison Development. Mesquite Solar 2 and 3 are wholly-owned by Sempra Renewables.
Businesses interested in the VPP program can contact SCATS at (702) 486-9140.
Sempra Renewables’ Darren Weim, Director of Operations, Mike Gibson, Regional Solar Manager, Justin Hawkins, Solar Operations and Maintenance, along with staff from Copper Mountain Solar celebrated the VPP recertification of the Copper Mountain Solar Complex on Thursday, October 25, 2018 with Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section representatives, including Todd Schultz, chief administrative officer, Bob Harris, safety supervisor South, Kym Heckman, safety consultant, and Tony Sampson, industrial hygienist.
About Sempra Renewables
Sempra Renewables, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, is a leading U.S. developer of renewable energy. Our experienced team has proven capabilities in the development, design, construction and operation of large-scale renewable energy infrastructure that help meet the electricity needs of our customers. Together with our partners, the company owns and operates nearly 2,600 megawatts of renewable capacity fueled by the sun and wind. Our investment in renewable energy generates power for over 600,000 homes and businesses and has created over 5,000 jobs, while providing an economic boost to communities and landowners in 11 states.