KIOWA, Oklahoma – Employees at Tenaska Kiamichi Generating Station near Kiowa have been honored with Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star, the nation’s highest safety designation. This prestigious recognition is conferred by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
“We are very proud of the employees at Tenaska Kiamichi for their continued commitment to safety,” said Tenaska CEO and Vice Chairman Jerry Crouse. “A safe workplace helps to ensure that employees return home safely at the end of the day and that the community remains protected from potential hazards. It also contributes to the reliable operation of the plant.”
Crouse spoke Thursday at a celebratory luncheon held in recognition of the plant’s 35 employees. Approximately 75 people attended, including Oklahoma Rep. Donnie Condit.
Tenaska Kiamichi becomes one of 2,300 U.S. worksites and one of just 40 Oklahoma worksites to achieve the VPP Star. The VPP process includes a rigorous evaluation of a facility’s safety protocols and often takes years to complete.
“VPP puts you in a distinguished class of workplaces that have demonstrated – and continue to demonstrate – a long-term, proactive approach to safety,” said Jorge Delucca, acting VPP coordinator for OSHA’s Oklahoma City Area Office. “It’s a commitment you and your colleagues have made for today and for the future.”
In addition to the VPP Star designation, employees have also been recognized with 18 National Safety Council Awards since 2003, including two for their 2016 safety performance:
- The Perfect Record Award, which recognizes companies that have completed at least 12 consecutive months without incurring a OSHA lost-time injury or illness; and
- The Occupational Excellence Achievement Award, which honors plants for operating with a safety record equal to or better than 50 percent of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics rates within the industry for lost-time illnesses and injuries.
Last month, employees received the Tenaska CEO Safety Award, an honor given annually by the company to the generating station that goes above and beyond in promoting a strong safety culture.
Plant Manager Buck Hunt said, “Employees’ commitment to safety is built into the culture here at Tenaska Kiamichi. Whether on site or in the control room, we remain vigilant for potential hazards and work to implement innovative practices.”
Tenaska Kiamichi is fueled by clean-burning natural gas. It produces electricity for sale to Shell Energy North America (US), L.P., which markets the power. The plant is capable of producing 1,220 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the needs of 1.2 million households.
Owned by Kiowa Power Partners, LLC, the Tenaska Kiamichi facility paid more than $33.1 million in property taxes through 2016, making it one of the largest taxpayers in Pittsburg County. Approximately $5.4 million is injected into the area economy each year through employee salaries and payments to local contractors and vendors.
In addition, employees volunteered 1,000 hours to support local community and charitable projects in 2016. Tenaska and customer Shell Energy have awarded $112,000 in scholarships to 117 college-bound high school seniors to date.
About Kiowa Power Partners, LLC
Kiowa Power Partners, LLC was formed to build, own and operate the Tenaska Kiamichi Generating Station. Affiliates of Tenaska, an energy company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, serve as the managing partner and operator.