Hanford Health & Safety Expo starts today

Tri-City HeraldMay 12, 2014 

— The popular free Hanford Health and Safety Expo is back for its 20th year from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at TRAC in Pasco.

It’s evidently the longest running health and safety event in Southeastern Washington, said Deanna Hawkins, spokeswoman for Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance.

The event to promote workplace, community and home safety and health has been held since the 1950s, but just the last 20 years in its current form, she said. Over two decades, it has drawn more than 250,000 visitors.

Visitors range from Hanford workers and their families to school classes taking advantage of the hands-on safety exhibits, some of them geared toward children. About 200 booths are planned this year.

The vehicle crash demonstration will be back in the TRAC arena this year, after forced federal budget cuts caused it to be canceled last year. It’s scheduled both days at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The demonstration, which shows the sequence of events after a serious accident, will include emergency vehicles from Hanford Fire Department and the Washington State Patrol and wrecked cars on the floor of the arena.

Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel will be on hand, and Casaday towing company and Pasco Auto Wrecking also are helping.

Bicycle rodeos for kids are set for 3:30 and 5 p.m. each day. Bicycle helmets will be given away as long as the supply lasts. Drawings will be held for new and refurbished bikes.

Distracted or impaired driving will be a focus of this year’s expo, including the vehicle crash demonstration, Hawkins said.

Other displays will include the Hanford Patrol’s skid car, which is equipped to feel like an officer is driving on ice on a controlled course.

Northwest MedStar will have one of its helicopters outside TRAC.

Displays also will be devoted to railroad and school bus safety, Hawkins said. The Washington State Patrol will be sharing statistics on accidents, including the insurance costs and funeral home costs that can result from unsafe driving.

An American Red Cross blood drive will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the expo.

“This event gives Hanford a chance to share ... its health, safety, quality and environmental expertise with other health and safety experts in the community,” said Lanette Adams, the lead coordinator of this year’s expo.

It also gives Hanford workers a chance to learn and share information about the latest industry practices and best equipment to perform often hazardous work safely, said Jeff Frey, of the Department of Energy.

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