Safety Conscious Work Environment

The Commission's policy statement, "Freedom of Employees in the Nuclear Industry to Raise Safety Concerns Without Fear of Retaliation," (61 FR 24336; May 14, 1996) describes a safety conscious work environment (SCWE) as a work environment where employees are encouraged to raise safety concerns and where concerns are promptly reviewed, given the proper priority based on their potential safety significance, and appropriately resolved with timely feedback to the originator of the concerns and to other employees as appropriate. SCWE is described as an attribute of safety culture in SECY-04-0111,"Recommended Staff Actions Regarding Agency Guidance in the Areas of Safety Conscious Work Environment and Safety Culture," August 30, 2004. Fostering an environment for raising concerns continues to be an important attribute of a positive nuclear safety culture, and was included as one of the traits of a positive safety culture in the NRC's Safety Culture Policy Statement (76 FR 34773; June 14, 2011).

Regulatory Issue Summary 2005-18 contains guidance for licensees, applicants for a license, holders of certificates of compliance, and their contractors on establishing and maintaining a safety conscious work environment.

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