Hanford worker treated after chemical incident

By the Herald staff March 26, 2010 

A Hanford worker was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland on Thursday after an incident at the Plutonium Finishing Plant.

Employees were removing a liquid chemical feed line at the central Hanford plant that is being prepared for demolition, said Lynette Bennett, spokeswoman for CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co.

Radiological contamination was not involved in the incident.

A few drops spilled out of the end of the pipe, which historically was used for nitric acid, she said. One of the drops landed on the filter canister of the respirator the worker was wearing, she said.

The worker immediately left the room, but started coughing. A call was made to Hanford 911 and the worker was taken to Kadlec for treatment and released later in the evening. He is expected to return to work Monday.

Five or six other employees in the room had no symptoms but were taken to Hanford's occupational medicine contractor, AdvanceMed Hanford, to be checked and then were cleared to return to work.

Hanford officials will meet today to go over what happened step-by-step and discuss how similar incidents may be prevented, Bennett said.

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