• safety training for all levels of personnel;
  • increased awareness of expected exposures and risks associated with the use of different types of excavation equipment;
  • management of safety liability on a multicontract work site; and
  • handling of emergency response in case of accidents, fires, or a disaster.

Each of these items is discussed below and, where appropriate, accompanied by examples. The examples are the result of distillation of ideas from a number of projects and may be freely adapted for a given project after revision for local conditions.

Employee-Safety Jurisdiction

The YMP is situated on a federal reservation in the state of Nevada and is being constructed under the auspices of the Department of Energy (DOE). Nevada has state-plan status within the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) framework, and as such the Nevada OSHA may be designated as the YMP enforcement agency. States with state-plan status obtain funds from the federal government, add their own funds, and run their own job safety programs. There are about 28 states in this category. These states operate within a tight framework that is designed by the federal OSHA and receive approximately one-half of their program funds from the federal government.

Experience dictates, however, that should the Nevada OSHA be given the job safety responsibility, there will be very close scrutiny of the project by the federal OSHA's area and regional offices. Another scenario might have the Nevada OSHA watching private entities at the YMP, while the federal OSHA watches the federal agencies; this approach could be a bureaucratic nightmare.

Which Safety Code Will Apply at The Yucca Mountain Site?

Operating a safety program in the state-plan mode, a state may choose to use its own safety orders or adopt the federal OSHA orders. California maintains its own safety orders, which is possible as long as the orders are at least as stringent as parallel federal regulations.

States that maintain their own safety orders are constantly at loggerheads with the federal OSHA over regulations that the federal agency determines are not as good as its own—not as stringent; not timely; and basically, not the same as the federal OSHA's.



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