The Tennessee Valley Authority’s industrial hygiene planning and assessment process has weaknesses that result in some hazards not being identified and evaluated, according to a report from TVA’s Office of the Inspector General.
Evaluation 2020-15756 – Hydro Plant Industrial Hygiene, released Aug. 20, identified four process weaknesses:
- TVA relied on limited information to identify health hazards
- There was no formal evaluation of the risks posed by identified hazards
- Industrial hygiene plans did not prioritize hazards
- Incomplete monitoring efforts allowed misalignment between procedures, plans and exposure assessments
TVA’s industrial hygiene program is intended to identify, evaluate and control health hazards to which TVA employees may be exposed in a timely manner, the report said. Evaluations were performed of industrial hygiene at the company’s coal, gas and hydro plants, with the objectives of determining if health hazards were identified and evaluated and if appropriate actions were taken by TVA management when adverse conditions were identified.
The report indicated TVA took appropriate actions to address adverse conditions, which were identified during assessments at hydro plants. However, TVA did not maintain employee notification cards as required by internal procedures. In addition, the office identified opportunities for improvement related to clarifying responsibilities for notification and monitoring of contractor actions taken to address industrial hygiene recommendations.
The Office of the Inspector General made nine recommendations to management regarding industrial hygiene planning, industrial hygiene annual assessments, employee exposure notifications and handling of industrial hygiene issues in the contractor population.
In response to the report, TVA management provided additional information about the industrial hygiene program and agreed to each of the nine recommendations, the report said.
TVA is a corporate agency of the U.S. that provides electricity for nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. Of the 73 generating sites TVA owns, 29 are conventional hydroelectric plants and one is a pumped storage facility.