Letter: Safety award questioned

July 7, 2014 

How amazing that the local tank farm contractor at Hanford has been recognized for its safety program by the Department of Energy.

That sounds like grade inflation in school, where one gets a passing grade for not assaulting the teacher, a better than passing grade for actually attending class and an excellent grade for actually turning in some of the homework. In this case, no one immediately died, so the contractor gets an award.

Considering that 38 workers have had to be examined because they came in contact with unknown chemical vapors, there must have been a real stretch to think that the contractor has an excellent safety program. The entire affair gives one little confidence in the ability of the contractor to safely handle the tanks, and this award gives one little confidence in the ability of the DOE to supervise those who are doing the Hanford cleanup.

DEAN H. HICKS, Kennewick

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