RICHLAND, Wash. — Contamination recently found on a piece of equipment used to inspect a Hanford double-shell tank is not the result of a primary tank leak, an investigation has found. Read more…
Yesterday the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of River Protection’s (ORP) tank farms contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy Fiscal Year 2016 Mentor of the Year award for leadership in mentoring local small businesses. This is the second time WRPS received this award, the first time being in FY 2011. Read more…
RICHLAND, Wash. – Three Hanford Site contractors – Mission Support Alliance (MSA), CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M) and Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) – were recently recognized as leaders in the procurement and use of sustainable information technology products by the Green Electronics Council and managers of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) label. The council recognizes companies for their efforts to reduce costs while also taking steps to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gases. Read more…
PHOENIX – The Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection (ORP) and its contractors will present recent accomplishments and progress at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) and the Hanford Tank Farms, on March 7 at the 2017 Waste Management Symposium… read more
RICHLAND, Wash. – The Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection (DOE-ORP) has completed waste retrieval activities “to the limits of two retrieval technologies” in accordance with a Settlement Agreement between DOE-ORP and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) at Hanford’s double-shell tank AY-102. Read more…
RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) received the 2017 Campbell Innovation Challenge award Tuesday for developing a physiological monitoring program that has eliminated heat stress cases the past two years at the Hanford tank farms.
WRPS, an AECOM-led company, is the Tank Operations Contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state. The company is responsible for managing 56 million gallons of highly radioactive and chemical waste stored in 177 underground tanks.
The Innovation Challenge, which is awarded by the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council, recognizes organizations for their achievement in the planning or implementation of an innovative program addressing critical environmental, health and safety topics in a way that demonstrates creative thinking, strategic implementation and significant impact.
“WRPS and AECOM are honored to be recognized by Campbell Institute,” said Mark Lindholm, WRPS president and project manager. “This award demonstrates not only the creativity and forward thinking of our employees, but also their steadfast commitment to protecting their co-workers, the public and the environment.”
Hanford is located in a hot desert environment. Many workers wear extensive personal protective equipment that often includes multiple layers of impermeable clothing tape-sealed to two pairs of gloves, booties, hoods and necessary respiratory protection. While this equipment protects the worker from chemical and radiological hazards, it creates other physical threats, including the increased potential of heat stress.
Physiological monitoring is a basic way to measure the level of an individual’s heat strain in response to heat-stress conditions. The new physiological program involves monitoring employees’ heart rates using a novel chest-mounted heart rate monitor that allows for remote, real-time assessment of heat strain and core body temperature using a tympanic membrane thermometer for periodic assessment of heat strain.
In the past, WRPS and other Hanford contractors conducted assessments for heat stress using Wet Bulb Globe Temperature measurement and relied on self-reporting of symptoms. When workers had symptoms, they exited the work location, removed multiple layers of PPE and had their heart pulse rate measured.
“The innovative program removes employees from harmful heat-related tasks before they develop heat stress symptoms,” Lindholm said.
WRPS performed physiological monitoring on a limited basis in 2014, then conducted full campaigns in 2015 – which was one of the hottest summers ever on the Hanford Site with 28 days at or over 100 degrees – and again in 2016. In 2,290 sessions conducted in 2015 and 2,510 sessions in 2016, there were no heat stress-related disorders. The campaigns ran from May through September.
The project team that developed and implemented the innovation consisted of WRPS management, field work supervisors and industrial hygiene personnel. The team conducted significant testing of the heart pulse rate monitor and remote monitoring system. Ongoing, comprehensive campaigns educated and involved employees to develop associated protocols and procedures.
“The development and implementation of the program was realized because of employee engagement, teamwork and a strong commitment to safety,” Lindholm said. “Congratulations to the team for making the tank farms a safer place to work.”
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of River Protection and its tank operations contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, have completed waste retrieval activities in tank C-111, marking the 15th of 16 single-shell tanks to be retrieved at C tank farm at the Hanford Site. Read more about it here.
WRPS was recognized this week for helping develop a face shield that protects a worker wearing full-face respiratory equipment from an arc flash, a type of electrical explosion or discharge where temperatures can reach 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Read about it here.
Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) representatives Melissa Garrard (with photo) and Jerry Holloway (third from left) accept the Corporate Community Impact award from two Tri-City Regional Chamber representatives at the Chamber’s annual meeting in late March. The award goes to the company providing the most financial support to the Chamber during the past year. WRPS was cited for its establishment and ongoing support of three programs that assist regional businesses. The Small Business Incentive Program awards $30,000 annually to businesses for training, equipment or website development; an annual Women in Business Conference provides a day of professional development activities, and the Meet the Buyer program offers quarterly sessions where local business officials can learn of potential sales opportunities from procurement officials from major government and private companies. More than 550 attended the event.