The Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operations’ HAMMER Federal Training Center, operated by Mission Support Alliance, achieved tremendous success in 2015 because of our many champions within DOE and Labor. HAMMER’s stalwart advocates have been advancing the message of training to save lives, at Hanford and across the nation.
Here at Hanford, Richland Operations Office Manager Stacy Charboneau is the ultimate champion for safety and HAMMER. She knows Hanford. She knows the Hanford work force, and she knows how important safety training is. “We have much work to do here at Hanford, and certainly HAMMER will be key to keeping our workers safe and performing that work scope,” Charboneau said.
Here at Hanford, Richland Operations Office Manager Stacy Charboneau is the ultimate champion for safety and HAMMER.
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has been HAMMER’s preeminent champion, promoting our partnerships and HAMMER’s mission of saving lives and averting disasters. In HAMMER’s hands-on training model, workers train in a safe, realistic environment ideal for learning retention. Secretary Moniz recognized that this model would benefit the entire DOE complex. He said, “Now is the time for us to promote the expansion of HAMMER’s role throughout the complex. I have established new expectations for a HAMMER partnership with the National Training Center (NTC) that expands upon the highly collaborative and successful training model offered by these facilities to a national user base. A renewed national vision and strategy for safety training will advance and strengthen the department’s safety culture.”
Since 2007, Glenn Podonsky of DOE’s Office of Enterprise Assessments has been pivotal in expanding HAMMER’s influence and partnership with the NTC. It was his vision to take HAMMER’s best practices complex-wide. “Together NTC and HAMMER will enhance the DOE like never before. Together we will do for all of DOE what HAMMER has done for Hanford,” Podonsky said.
Together NTC and HAMMER will enhance the DOE like never before. Together we will do for all of DOE what HAMMER has done for Hanford.
Glenn Podonsky of DOE’s Office of Enterprise Assessments
NTC and HAMMER have embarked on a collaborative effort to avoid redundant training — saving on duplicate training costs, reducing training hours and improving work mobilization. The complex-wide reciprocity program improves worker safety by standardizing fundamental content and encouraging contractor-specific content to allow for improved emphasis on local work practices and hazards. Redundant training is reduced when workers, including DOE staff, move between contractors or move between sites.
With decades of cleanup remaining on the Hanford Site, a lot of hazardous work is ahead of us. We have already proved that training at HAMMER prepares workers for hazardous situations.
Proof of HAMMER’s value was illustrated by worker-trainer Joyce Eckert and two co-workers in the McCluskey Room at the Plutonium Finishing Plant. In October 2015, their air regulator failed and stopped the breathing air supply, requiring them to exit with emergency air supply bottles inside their fully encapsulated suits, a scenario practiced in hands-on training at HAMMER. All three workers made it out of the room safely. “I was really, really, really grateful for HAMMER and the training I’d had when I lost air,” Eckert said.
CHPRC President John Cuicci agreed. “I thank HAMMER. We are going to be successful because of our partnership,” he said.
HAMMER’s future is secure, thanks to the sponsorship of Secretary Moniz, his dedicated staff and our excellent partnerships. I had the privilege to participate with the International Labor General Presidents as they honored Secretary Moniz for his concern and commitment to HAMMER and to worker health and safety. We could not be in better hands than with Secretary Moniz.