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February 10, 2000
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Hermiston Generating Plant SETS state record; Receives Oregon OSHA Safety & Health Award

(Hermiston, OR) – PG&E Corporation’s (NYSE: PCG) affiliate, Hermiston Generating Co., L.P., has been recognized by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) for the plant’s exceptional health and safety record with the presentation of a SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) award. The plant set a new standard for best practices and safety program management, according to OR-OSHA representatives. OR-OSHA officials presented the award during an employee celebration at the plant’s Westland Road site today at 1:00 p.m.

"This honor goes hand in hand with our goal to heighten safety and health awareness and to encourage and empower individual leadership throughout the organization," said Janet Smith, chief safety officer for PG&E Corporation’s competitive power generation unit. "This award underscores the complete commitment that all employees of Hermiston have to making safety the top priority on the job," Smith said.

OR-OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) promotes and encourages effective safety and health management practices and recognizes employers who establish and implement the programs in partnership with employees. The award is granted following successful completion of a comprehensive and rigorous consultation and assessment process that addresses actual and potential safety and health hazards. It includes a review of administrative issues, programs and policies as well as the safety and health program.

"This is an opportunity to demonstrate our on-going commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace," said Hermiston Generating Plant General Manager Peter Rigney. "Each employee plays an integral role in the safety and health program, and in turn, shares in its success," he added. The plant completed 1999 without any lost-time or OSHA recordable accidents.

According to OR-OSHA officials, the 474-megawatt Hermiston Generating Plant earned several distinctions during the assessment process. The consulting team noted several best management practices and procedures used at the plant that contributed to the achievement, including collaborative employee participation in accident prevention and hazard elimination, an active safety committee and the recognition of employee performance. The award also noted the degree to which each employee takes ownership of the facility, their responsibilities and the safety and health program.

"The staff is highly trained, look out for each other, and is a great group of people to work with," said Corbet Stengel, Industrial Hygiene Consultant with OR-OSHA’s Consultation and Services Section. "The culture of the plant is that safety comes first and the lost workday incident rate reflects this," Stengel said.

Organizations that receive SHARP recognition serve as models for other Oregon employers to team with employees in establishing effective and measurable safety and health programs. "It’s great to be recognized and to help raise the awareness of the importance of safe workplaces," said Ben Rogers, plant operations superintendent. "For all of us, safety is a continuous improvement process and our goal always remains zero accidents. Employees are the greatest asset that we as a team have, so safety is everyone’s business."

The Hermiston Generating Plant is a combined cycle gas turbine cogeneration facility. It provides electric power – enough for approximately 474,000 homes – to PacifiCorp and steam to Lamb-Weston for use in its nearby potato processing plant.

PG&E Corporation, with revenues of more than $20 billion and operations in 27 states, markets energy services and products throughout North America through its National Energy Group. PG&E Corporation’s businesses also include Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Northern and Central California utility that deliver natural gas and electricity service to one in every 20 Americans.


 

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