Hanford contractor honored for worker safety innovation

The Hanford tank farm contractor has been recognized for protecting workers with a tool its workers developed to safely take radiation readings.

Washington River Protection Solutions has been given the Voluntary Protection Program Innovation Award for the tool used to survey long pieces of equipment removed from radioactive waste in underground tanks.

The tool features lightweight piping with survey points built in to position electronic dosimeters so that radiation levels can be recorded by workers at a safe distance. The tool is moved down the length of the equipment until the survey is completed.

The tool also has cut the time needed to survey equipment in half, according to the contractor.

Washington River Protection Solutions also was given the Voluntary Protection Program Star of Excellence Award for a rate of recordable injuries that are 75 percent lower than the industry average.

The tank farm contractor has had workers exposed to possible chemical vapors over the last year before supplied-air respirators were required for most work, but most of those incidents are not recordable injuries.

The awards were presented at the recent Voluntary Protection Program Participants’ Association national conference in Texas.