Hanford

Bidding opens for a new workers’ compensation contract for Hanford

Hanford Workforce Engagement Center opening

DOE program manager Gail Splett tells about the opening of the Hanford Workforce Engagement Center in Richland. The facility is for current and former Hanford workers and their families who have occupational health questions.
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DOE program manager Gail Splett tells about the opening of the Hanford Workforce Engagement Center in Richland. The facility is for current and former Hanford workers and their families who have occupational health questions.

The Department of Energy on Friday requested bids for a new contract to administer its state workers’ compensation program at Hanford.

Penser North America’s five-year contract for that work expires in September.

The proposed new contract would be for up to five years, with a one-year base period and then four possible annual renewals.

Only small businesses, as designated by the Small Business Administration, may bid. Bids are due July 8.

DOE is self-insured for state workers’ compensation for contractor and subcontractor employees at the Hanford nuclear reservation site.

DOE hires a workers’ compensation program contractor to investigate, adjudicate and manage worker’s claims of illness or injury following state regulations for self-insured organizations.

Bidders offer a fixed price

The contractor gathers and submits information on workers’ claims to the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries, which approves or denies the worker claims.

DOE is asking bidders to submit a fixed price to provide services for a two-month transition period to the new contract and then a price for each of the five possible years of the contract.

DOE pays the cost of the claims approved by state L&I.

Penser, a small business in Lacey, Wash., has held the contract to administer the Hanford worker’s compensation program since 2009.

Its current five-year contract was awarded in 2014 and valued at about $4.4 million. DOE has released no estimated value for the new contract.

Workers or their survivors who believe an illness was caused by working at Hanford can get information about state and federal compensation programs at the Hanford Workforce Engagement Center at 309 Bradley Blvd., Suite 120, in Richland. The center can be reached at 509-376-4932.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.
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