SRNL completes assessment of WRPS IH program

TVATRICHLAND, Wash.—The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) Tank Vapor Assessment Team (TVAT) has released its final report on the Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) industrial hygiene program. Worker safety is a core value of WRPS, and the company initiated the TVAT review as part of its commitment to eliminate or further reduce worker exposure to chemical vapors.

WRPS has made substantial improvements in the Hanford tank farms’ chemical vapor management program since being selected to operate the tank farms in 2008 and believes the TVAT recommendations will help it move to an even greater level of worker protection.

Based on a review of an earlier draft report, implementation of some recommendations has already begun or been completed, including the required use of minimum half-face respirators in single-shell tank farms, starting in September, and the hiring of additional industrial hygiene staff.

The report recognizes WRPS’ overall industrial hygiene approach is based on accepted industry health and safety practices which focus on protecting against the long-term health effects that can result from cumulative or ongoing exposures. But, the report cites significant challenges in dealing with short, intermittent, higher-concentration exposures the team believes are the likely cause of worker symptoms.

The report’s recommendations will serve as a road map to help WRPS make necessary enhancements in a number of areas.  The development of novel strategies or new technologies may be necessary to deal with the unique nature of Hanford tank waste.

In the weeks ahead, WRPS will complete a plan for implementing the TVAT recommendations and integrating those actions with the ongoing activities of its internal Chemical Vapor Solutions Team.

Full implementation will be a multi-year effort and may require additional research and development. WRPS is committed to using the TVAT’s efforts to enhance its current program and provide an increased level of protection for its workers.

SRNL released the following statement regarding the report:

The full report is available here: Hanford_Tank_Vapor_Assessment_Report

WRPS aids 45 businesses with grants

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Some recipients of the 2014 Small Business Incentive grants were recognized recently at a Tri-City Regional Chamber community meeting.

The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce announced the 45 award recipients of its 2014 Small Business Incentive Program last week.  A $30,000 contribution from Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) to support the program was presented at the chamber’s Business Expo Network Tri-Cities Luncheon Oct. 22.

For a fourth consecutive year, WRPS and the chamber partnered to support and strengthen local small businesses by awarding the grants which can be used toward websites, software, or training and/or equipment.

“Washington River Protection Solutions believes it’s important to strengthen the small businesses in the Tri-Cities area,” said Melissa Garrard, senior procurement specialist at WRPS. “We are pleased to support our local economy through this program.”

Grant applicants were encouraged to “think outside the box” when thinking of items their businesses needed to succeed. Carrie Smith, owner of Fit for Me, applied for and was awarded a new heart defibrillator, an essential component for any fitness center. “I am so grateful for this amazing resource for my growing business,” said Smith. “The Small Business Incentive Program has helped strengthen my business and my peace of mind.”

WRPS expands recruiting network via social media

For the first time WRPS is branching out via social media, establishing a new LinkedIn page to expand recruiting efforts by broadening its outreach online.

WRPS Human Resources began using the page earlier this month during some of its recruiting trips to regional colleges and universities.

“We want to expand our recruiting footprint,” said WRPS Talent Development Coordinator Britt Easter. “As we were looking for more creative ways to engage individuals we normally wouldn’t reach using more traditional venues, LinkedIn seemed an obvious choice because it provides multiple advantages using a single resource. ”

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service launched more than a decade ago. According to Wikipedia, LinkedIn boasts more than 300 million members in more than 200 countries and territories. It’s estimated that nearly 30 percent of people living in the United States—roughly 93 million—have a LinkedIn account. Forbes magazine called it “the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.”

“We have an amazing story to tell. This avenue allows us to showcase our work to prospective talent not just locally but on a national stage. We certainly look forward to the positive impact this tool can have on our company,” Easter said.


WRPS employee appointed to board of local PMI chapter

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Lisa Rosenblum, WRPS Project Management Program, has been named to the board of directors for the Project Management Institute (PMI) Columbia River Basin Chapter as vice president of     public relations.

Rosenblum recently joined WRPS from Fowler, though she’s supported the Tank Operations Contract for the past year working with Greg McClellan and the Project Management Program to help brand and market the department. Most recently she developed a project management newsletter, designed the website, and assumed management of Project Navigator, a custom-developed software tool that serves project managers.

Thom Ardamica receives Pyramid Award

L to R: James Taylor, URS GMOS president; Thom Ardamica: Dave Olson, WRPS president and project manager; and Rob Gregory, WRPS Tank Farm Projects manager.

L to R: James Taylor, URS GMOS president; Thom Ardamica: Dave Olson, WRPS president and project manager; and Rob Gregory, WRPS Tank Farm Projects manager.

Thomas Ardamica, WRPS field crew operations, received his URS Pyramid Award at a ceremony last week. Thom won the award in the community service category for his involvement in the Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life fundraising event.

Ardamica was instrumental in growing the event through increased sponsorships, riders and new approaches resulting in increased participation.