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.
July 23, 2020
WRPS continues to work closely with DOE and the other Hanford contractors on a phased approach for returning to full operations, while considering state and local trends and conditions. With our community recovery efforts in mind, DOE announced today the Site would continue in Phase I for the week of July 27.
In a deliberate and thoughtful manner, WRPS will continue to sustain mission-critical work within our Phase 1 remobilization plan. We are activating fifty additional workers for their return to the site next week. With excellent support from those of you who are teleworking from home, our workers in the field are continuing to make tremendous progress in support of our tank farm mission, while focused on maintaining new health and safety protocols.
Along with facility reconfigurations and engineered controls, the consistent use of face coverings, practicing social distancing and regular hand washing is having the desired effect of keeping exposure to the virus at a low level on the Site.
Your continued commitment to safety by implementing protocols to prevent the COVID-19 virus at work is just as applicable at home. We can make a difference by way of demonstrating our safety training in the community as we adjust to this new normal.
Thank you for remaining resolute to doing good work as we navigate through this challenging situation. Stay safe.
Aug. 13, 2020
TO: All Hanford Site Employees
SUBJECT: Phase 1 Work Progress in Support of Continued Safe Operations
The Hanford Site will continue in Phase 1 operations for the week of 17 August. Hanford Site leadership remains focused on the safety and health of our workforce, deliberately evaluating work scope and the necessary resources to support our important mission each week. Our Hanford team, starting from 23 March when we reduced site operations, has consistently done a tremendous job in managing our Site to ensure the safety and security of the workforce, our community, and the environment. Those teleworking have also continued to deliver progress in moving our essential mission forward.
While we continue to gradually return our workforce, I ask that you stay focused on your personal health as well as the health of our teammates. Please remain aware of your wellness and if you feel sick or experience COVID-19-related symptoms, contact your supervisor and stay home. Also, I hope that you will continue to follow established COVID-19 protocols both at work and at home. Community controls are paying off as COVID-19 cases continue to trend downward and health system capacity remains readily available for those in need.
Each of you is a valuable member of the Hanford team and together we are continuing to safely advance our important mission. Please be safe and let’s continue to work together to keep each other healthy while also supporting our community.
Brian T. Vance
Richland Operations /
Office of River Protection