Hanford

2 Hanford workers checked for vapor exposure

Washington River Protection Solutions Tank Farm workers use supplied with air respirators. Two Hanford workers were taken for medical evaluations for possible exposure to tank vapors at the AY-Tank Farm at Hanford on Wednesday.
Washington River Protection Solutions Tank Farm workers use supplied with air respirators. Two Hanford workers were taken for medical evaluations for possible exposure to tank vapors at the AY-Tank Farm at Hanford on Wednesday.

Two Hanford workers were taken for medical evaluations for possible exposure to tank vapors on Wednesday — a day after U.S. Judge Thomas Rice ordered protections for Hanford workers.

The judge, acting on a suggestion made by the Department of Energy, ordered supplied air respirators be worn inside the tank farms and that no work be done to disturb waste unless necessary for safety reasons.

On Wednesday, three workers outside the AY-Tank Farm at Hanford reported smelling a suspicious odor about 8:45 a.m.

Because they were outside the tank farm they were not required to be wearing supplied air respirators. No work was being done inside the tank farm that would have disturbed waste, according to Hanford officials.

Two of the workers had symptoms and received medical evaluations. They were released to return to work. The symptoms were not made public, but respiratory symptoms are common in vapor incidents.

The third worker who smelled the odor declined a medical evaluation.

Wednesday's incident brings the number of workers receiving medical checks for possible vapor exposure this spring and summer to about 57.

Annette Cary: 509-582-1533, @HanfordNews

  Comments