During this time of uncertainty, the WRPS leadership is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our employees and keeping them informed. We have been working together with the Department of Energy and other Hanford contractors with employee safety as our top priority. We began taking proactive steps in February by encouraging employees to follow the federal, state and county public health agency guidelines to keep themselves, their colleagues and their families well. We are monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and checking the Washington State Department of Health and Benton-Franklin Health District web pages frequently for new information.
Hanford is currently in a phased remobilization of Site operations
Washington River Protection Solutions, the other Hanford contractors and the Department of Energy have worked closely to develop a deliberate and phased approach to safely resuming full operations based on scientific and medical criteria to assess local conditions. Employees will return to their on-site work locations during multiple phases, each adding additional high-priority operations and activities, requiring heavier PPE usage and other health and safety precautions. The pace of this approach will be based on a risk analyses that will take into account several factors, including available health data, federal, state and local restrictions, and facility and site preparedness.
When Will I Return to Work?
Your manager will notify you.
What You Should Expect
The work environment and practices have changed for all of us and require everyone’s attention, patience and understanding. We will continue to implement the enhanced health and safety protocols that have been established over time, including:
- Social distancing (including use of technology for meetings and briefings)
- Increased cleaning, disinfection practices and availability of hand sanitizer and disinfection wipes
- Restrictions in travel and gatherings
Remember, we each have a responsibility to do our part to protect ourselves and our coworkers, such as washing our hands frequently, refraining from touching our faces, avoiding shaking hands, and staying home of you do not feel well.
Face Coverings Required
With the introduction of additional personnel on the Hanford footprint, all workers will be required to wear cloth face coverings while working at the Hanford Site. Employees will be provided a bandana, or you can also bring your personal face covering from home. Cloth face coverings are made from a variety of materials, can be manufactured or homemade, and can be laundered/reused or disposable. Certain exceptions to the face coverings requirement include:
- Eating and drinking
- Underlying health conditions (as accommodated through Human Resources)
- When other respiratory protection is required
- Transition work activities (e.g. donning and doffing area)
- Working alone (e.g. in an office or cubicle, vehicle, fabrication tent, in remote locations)
Temperature and Health Checks
Remember, we each have a responsibility to do our part to protect ourselves and our coworkers, such as washing our hands frequently, refraining from touching our faces, avoiding shaking hands, and staying home if you do not feel well. Each day, prior to leaving for work, employees should ask themselves if they have any of these COVID-19-related symptoms:
- A temperature of 100.4o F /38o C or greater
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
If yes to any of the above, and you cannot attribute them to any other pre-existing condition, employees should inform their supervisor, not report to work and contact their personal physician.
Oct. 1, 2020
Yesterday, Congress approved a budgetary Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2021. The package, which the President signed, extends certain provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act until Dec. 11.
As of this week, all non-portable WRPS employees have returned to the work site. This means the COV charge code will no longer be needed to maintain workers in a ready-to-serve status. However, the CARES extension would allow individuals to charge to COV time if they have been directed to quarantine (by HPMC, a health care professional or their local health district) for a reason related to COVID-19, are not ill, and are unable to telework. This should be done in accordance with WRPS’ COVID-19 Work Force Temporary Guidance.
Employees directed to quarantine due to COVID-19 are required to call HPMC to schedule a return-to-work appointment. The attached poster is provided as a handy, at-a-glance reminder of important COVID-19 controls and responsibilities, to which we ask your continued attention and adherence.
Please continue to protect yourselves, your coworkers, families and friends by following established health and safety protocols at work and at home.
Oct. 14, 2020
TO: All Hanford Site Employees
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Update and Video
As fall weather arrives and we start spending more time indoors, it is essential that we continue following our established COVID-19 protocols. These protocols, which include wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, frequent hand-washing, staggering shifts, performing health self-assessments before work, and staying home if we feel ill, are critical to our health and the health of our coworkers and loved ones.
If a worker reports being tested for COVID-19, as a precaution, we restrict access to the associated workplace until it can be sanitized. The same sanitization procedure is followed if an employee reports a positive test result if they have been in the workplace within the incubation period of the disease. We are also conducting contact tracing of employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, so that both the employee and anyone who they may have been in contact with can quarantine to avoid potentially spreading the disease.
While the Hanford Site remains in Phase 2 of its COVID-19 remobilization plan, I encourage you to watch this video on the importance of staying vigilant during these challenging times and ask yourself what you can do to protect your family, your fellow workers and the community.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our important work and please stay safe and healthy.
Brian T. Vance
Richland Operations /
Office of River Protection