WRPS Volunteer Day provides “fresh start” for children’s center

More than 30 WRPS employees and their family members helped paint the teen center at the Boys & Girls Club in Pasco.

More than 30 WRPS employees and their family members helped paint the teen center at the Boys & Girls Club in Pasco.

PASCO, Wash. – It took 26 gallons of paint, 30 volunteers and a whole lot of caring to cover 3,700 feet of wall space over the course of two days, but in the end it was all worth it. More than two dozen Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) employees gave up a portion of their weekend in August to provide a much-needed makeover for the Pasco Boys & Girls Club.

“We saw an opportunity here where we could make a big impact,” said Janelle Easter, event coordinator. “We recognized a huge need, our volunteers responded, and starting off the school year with a fresh coat of paint is really going to set the tone for a positive school year for these kids.”

The effort was organized by WPRSpeed, a young professionals group focused on developing leadership skills and encouraging community service. A $2,500 donation from WRPS paid for paint to recover the art room, game room and gym. The funds also helped purchase art supplies, sports equipment and new games to fill the center.

It’s the second straight year WRPSpeed has organized the Volunteer Day event. Last August, volunteers sanded and repainted the playground at Richland’s Howard Amon Park. Participants say the event exemplifies two core WRPS values: leadership and service above self.

“WRPS has not just a responsibility to the taxpayer and the government in terms of accomplishing our mission safely, effectively and in accordance with requirements—we also have a responsibility to give back to the community in which we live and serve,” said WRPS President and Project Manager Dave Olson. “It’s not just about what we do at the job site, it’s as much about what we do in the community to reflect our company, our values and our support for what happens.”

WRPS receives national VPPPA award

VPPPA award

Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) President and Project Manager Dave Olson, Safety and Health Manager Clint Wolfley and Industrial Hygiene Manager Ashley Kunz were awarded the 2014 Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) 2014 Safety and Health Outreach Award by the VPPPA National Board of Directors.  The award was presented Aug. 24 at the 30th Annual National VPPPA Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

The purpose of the Safety and Health Outreach Award is to provide recognition for “VPP models” who reach out to share the safety, health, technical and management expertise developed at their worksites.

Among WRPS’ outreach activities was conducting SafetyFest Tri-Cities, consisting of free safety training for local small businesses, agriculture groups and other organizations.  WRPS also initiated a health and safety mentoring program that supplied course information to universities than included Central Washington University and Boise State University.  And WRPS donated $1,000 to the American Red Cross to improve safety and health outreach efforts in the Tri-Cities.

“This award recognizes an impressive and commendable accomplishment,” said Tom Webb, VPPPA Strategic Development & Member Services manager.   “WRPS deserves credit for placing such a high priority on the safety of its employees at the Hanford site.”

About WRPS
WRPS, owned by URS Corporation and EnergySolutions, with integrated subcontractor AREVA, is a prime contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection and is responsible for managing and reducing the risk posed by the waste stored in Hanford’s aging underground tanks.

WRPS celebrates VPP Star

Two safety meetings held in June recognized WRPS employees for their efforts in achieving VPP Star status. The accomplishment not only applied to the tank farms contract, it makes Hanford a certified VPP Star site as well.

WRPS helps fund new Delta High

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Delta High School was held June 25. Last year, WRPS donated $150,000 to help build the facility, which emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—or STEM—subjects.

 

Savannah River National Laboratory begins independent review of tank farm vapors

New hires train to become certified Health Physics Technicians, who help keep coworkers safe from radiological contamination. Recovery Act funding at Hanford's tank farms helped create nearly 600 jobs at the peak of employment in autumn 2010.

New hires train to become certified Health Physics Technicians, who help keep coworkers safe from radiological contamination. 

The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) announced today its team of recognized national experts that will perform an independent review of WRPS’ chemical vapors program. SRNL has put together a team from academia, industry and government agencies to review and help improve WRPS’ industrial hygiene program. WRPS Health Physics Technician Rebecca Holland, a member of HAMTC, is also on the expert panel. The SRNL news release, accessible through the link provided, gives details on the team and its charter.

Washington River Protection Solutions achieves VPP Star safety status

WFOSTARPhoto-JPEGasml

RICHLAND, Wash. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), Hanford’s Tank Operations Contractor, for its outstanding safety program by awarding WRPS Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status.

The VPP recognizes excellence in occupational safety and health protection for contractors at DOE sites. WRPS achieved Star status, the highest level of certification, based on the results of a DOE assessment conducted earlier this year.

“This well-deserved honor belongs to all WRPS employees, whose efforts make the tank farms a safe place to work,” said Dave Olson, WRPS President and Project Manager. “Our Employee Accident Prevention Councils, the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council (HAMTC) safety representatives, and our safety and health staff work cooperatively to address workforce issues and encourage continuous improvement.”

WRPS has more than 1,600 employees at Hanford. The company is responsible for safely managing 56 million gallons of high-level radioactive and chemical waste stored in 177 underground tanks. The waste is the legacy of Cold War plutonium production.

The VPP was established in 1994 and is identical to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration Voluntary Protection Program, except that participation is open to contractors employed at DOE-owned facilities.