American Society of Safety Professionals honors NIF manager with safety award

Bruno (Download Image)

Bruno Van Wonterghem, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) Operations manager, was honored with the with the “Managers Who Get Safety” Award from the the American Society of Safety Professionals.

The American Society of Safety Professionals, San Francisco Chapter, has awarded Bruno Van Wonterghem, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) Operations manager, with the “Managers Who Get Safety” Award.

“I feel both honored and humbled at receiving this award on behalf of my NIF Facility Team,” Van Wonterghem said. “This year we achieved the long sought-after goal of fusion ignition, but also recognized an acute challenge in having lost institutional knowledge with a great but less experienced team. I appreciate the support of our great safety professionals as we reinvigorate our safety culture and core practices.”

The award is presented to operation managers who have demonstrated significant leadership in safety at all levels of their organization through active involvement and support to enhance the well-being of their employees, environment, safety professionals and the community.

“Safety is of the utmost importance in operating NIF and delivering on our mission of stockpile stewardship for the nation,” said NIF Director Gordon Brunton. “Bruno provides exceptional leadership for NIF’s safety culture.”

Tiffany Barnett, deputy assurance manager at NIF&PS, nominated Van Wonterghem for the award.

Van Wonterghem was selected for the award for his dedication to the safety of his employees and maintaining a proactive safety culture. Darryl Gorman, assurance manager for NIF&PS, was impressed with his willingness to call for a safety pause before a major incident occurred.

“In my 25-plus years as a safety professional, safety pauses, or sitewide safety stand-downs, are typically held after something terrible has occurred,” he said. “It’s not often that a leader would stop all operations simply to provide work teams with an opportunity to level set and openly discuss safety, security, quality and efficiency (SSQE). I think it communicated to our staff how much we value safety and care for everyone’s well-being. I think Bruno’s willingness to do this sets the tone that our employees are empowered to stop work in the name of SSQE.”

Barnett said the award demonstrates that the Lab has a dedicated operational leader with the attributes to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

“Safety professionals work very hard with operations to build the safety culture, but it takes our senior leaders to take the lead, which is what Bruno has done for years,” she said. “Not only does he set the expectations for safety, security, efficiency and quality, but he is cognizant of the workforce changes that could affect our safety culture and takes steps to ensure our safety culture is the best it can be at NIF.”

The American Society of Safety Professionals is an association that, for more than 100 years, has supported occupational safety and health professionals in their efforts to prevent workplace injuries, illness and fatalities.

The San Francisco chapter is dedicated to the promotion of the occupational safety and health profession by providing members with resources, education opportunities and networking. The members of the chapter are dedicated to creating a safe work environment by working together with operations to implement safety practices that are both socially responsible and good business, leading to increased productivity, a better reputation and higher employee retention.