Hanford Health and Safety Expo runs Tuesday, Wednesday

By Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldMay 12, 2013 

The popular free Hanford Health and Safety Expo is back for the 19th year from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last year, the event at TRAC in Pasco drew 70,000 people through the turnstiles.

Hanford workers are encouraged to attend and many can stop by instead of attending a weekly safety meeting. But the event has something for everyone, said organizer Owen Berglund.

Many workers bring their families, and school classes also visit to take advantage of hands-on safety exhibits, some geared toward children.

A bicycle rodeo for students is from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day. Bike helmets will be given away as long as supplies last. In addition, drawings will be held for refurbished bikes.

More donated bikes will be accepted Monday at TRAC and will be given a safety check before being offered in the drawings.

This year TRAC will have 175 booths with health and safety exhibits by more than 200 companies and organizations. They will cover a variety of topics, but with an additional emphasis on distracted driving, ergonomics and senior living and retirement.

They will be easy to find by looking for the color-coded tables -- green for ergonomics, black for retirement and red for distracted driving.

Northwest Medstar will base its medical helicopter at TRAC for the two days. It will be on display when not responding to emergencies.

The nonprofit Kidney Trust will offer free blood drawings for kidney health checks with the support of Davita Kidney Center of Pasco.

Retailer Ranch and Home will have one of the largest displays at the expo to exhibit worker safety and protective equipment.

At another exhibit, kids and adults can drive remote-controlled cars, avoiding sand traps and backing vehicles, to learn about distracted driving.

The vehicle accident demonstration, which usually is in the arena, will not be offered this year because of forced federal budget cuts, called sequestration.

Although tight budgets for federal contractors have caused some changes in the event, the work force disruption of sequestration also makes it a critical year for the expo.

"What better time to keep focused on safety?" said organizer Butch Parker.

The expo was started 19 years ago after a major layoff at Hanford.

The expo is sponsored this year by Advanced Technologies and Laboratories, CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., Mission Support Alliance, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington Closure Hanford and Washington River Protection Solutions.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @HanfordNews

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