URS Corporation, a global engineering and construction firm, has been awarded the Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA) by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

URS was recognized for the safety and emergency preparedness programs it has implemented to benefit contractor employees at the U.S. Army’s Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) in Tooele County, Utah. The company’s 1,200 employees and subcontractor workers at the plant are progressively disposing of the nation’s single-largest stockpile of aging, deteriorating chemical weapons and secondary wastes in a safe, secure, and environmentally compliant manner that ensures worker and public protection.

“URS Corporation’s safety and emergency preparedness programs have yielded measurable improvements in employee safety and well-being, while enhancing productivity,” said ACOEM President Warner Hudson, III, MD. “It’s a formula for success that provides inspiration and a practical roadmap for others to follow.

“With passage of health reform legislation, it is more important than ever for employers to help their employees stay healthy and productive.”

The Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA) recognizes quality occupational and environmental health programs, identifies model programs and outstanding practices with measurable results and encourages organizational self-assessment and continuous improvement. Recipients of the annual award are judged on the strength of their health and safety programs for individual employees, their programs to protect the environment, their leadership and management, and for their efforts to create an overall work culture that stresses healthy lifestyles and safety consciousness.

The ACOEM award program is considered the most rigorous and comprehensive of its kind, requiring extensive documentation from companies of their programs and practices and an onsite visit by a team of ACOEM evaluators. The CHAA recognizes quality occupational and environmental health programs.

Applicants in the competition receive detailed feedback from ACOEM on their programs regardless of whether they receive an award, which Dr. Hudson says helps raise awareness of best practices and, in the long run, improve standards for employee health and safety. “Safer, healthier workplaces mean increased productivity, more job satisfaction, less harmful environmental impact and enhanced community relationships,” he said.