Washington River Protection Solutions wins national safety award - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington River Protection Solutions wins national safety award

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, WA – 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 systems. 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.”

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Dogs can catch the human flu

    Dogs can catch the human flu

    Saturday, January 20 2018 10:10 PM EST2018-01-21 03:10:54 GMT
    HEALTH ALERT-   Flu season is upon us and even when you're careful there's one thing you may not have thought carried the flu virus According to Veterinarians dogs can catch the human flu. They may not experience symptoms but they can spread it to other dogs and humans.  Unfortunately, there is currently no way to test if your dog is contagious.  But if someone has the flu they says its important that they be mindful of taking their dogs out and about such as to...More >>
    HEALTH ALERT-   Flu season is upon us and even when you're careful there's one thing you may not have thought carried the flu virus According to Veterinarians dogs can catch the human flu. They may not experience symptoms but they can spread it to other dogs and humans.  Unfortunately, there is currently no way to test if your dog is contagious.  But if someone has the flu they says its important that they be mindful of taking their dogs out and about such as to...More >>
  • Inmate found dead in cell at Benton County Jail

    Inmate found dead in cell at Benton County Jail

    Saturday, January 20 2018 10:06 PM EST2018-01-21 03:06:15 GMT
    Kennewick Man Sentenced to Thirty Years Imprisonment for Production of Child PornographyKennewick Man Sentenced to Thirty Years Imprisonment for Production of Child Pornography
    KENNEWICK- The Benton County Sheriff's Office and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) are currently investigating the death of an inmate on Saturday morning.  On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. the Richland Police Department arrived at the jail following the arrest of a 28-year-old male for Possession of Methamphetamine and an outstanding Kennewick warrant for theft. Upon completing the booking process, which includes a medical, mental health, and suicidal screening, no indications ...More >>
    KENNEWICK- The Benton County Sheriff's Office and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) are currently investigating the death of an inmate on Saturday morning.  On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. the Richland Police Department arrived at the jail following the arrest of a 28-year-old male for Possession of Methamphetamine and an outstanding Kennewick warrant for theft. Upon completing the booking process, which includes a medical, mental health, and suicidal screening, no indications ...More >>
  • Polar Plunge raises thousands of dollars for Special Olympics

    Polar Plunge raises thousands of dollars for Special Olympics

    Saturday, January 20 2018 8:04 PM EST2018-01-21 01:04:52 GMT
    RICHLAND, WA.-- On Saturday, dozens of people braved the icy Columbia for 12th Annual Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics. This year, the event was held at the Columbia Park Marina, and 292 people decided to make a splash! If you thought that number was big, how about this: as of this morning, the event raised over $55,000, which will help the 17,500 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Washington.  If you didn't get a chance to head out to t...More >>
    RICHLAND, WA.-- On Saturday, dozens of people braved the icy Columbia for 12th Annual Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics. This year, the event was held at the Columbia Park Marina, and 292 people decided to make a splash! If you thought that number was big, how about this: as of this morning, the event raised over $55,000, which will help the 17,500 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Washington.  If you didn't get a chance to head out to t...More >>