Hanford Workers Honored - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford Workers Honored

A few hundred Hanford workers received a special honor Wednesday.

The Department of Energy gave a select group of members from CH2M Hill its gold star award. Waste feed operators proudly accepted a flag bearing their gold star status.

For years, workers pushed to improve the safety on their site as a part of Hanford's Voluntary Protection Program. D.O.E. members said just being part of the VPP is an honor on its own, but the quality job the WFO workers put in every day requires its own distinction. "Workers of the Waste Feed Operations here at Hanford however, have earned they're place in a select echelon of VPP performers in the complex," said D.O.E. Acting Assistant Secretary Russell Shearer.

This honor doesn't happen every day. The doe has only given out 25 star distinctions overall at Hanford. And D.O.E. officials said the 300 WFO people should be proud of what they've accomplished.

"This is relatively rare event it's something the Department wants to see more frequently,” said Shearer. “However CH2M Hill Waste Feed Operations is among the very lead bow wave to get this status."

In less than one year, WFO workers improve the safety on their site from 3.5 accidents for every 200,000 hours worked to none. But while workers feel honored for their award they said the best part is just being able to come at night.

"It means everybody gets to go home safe everyday they come to work. We're trying as hard as we can to make this a safe place to work,” said WFO Field Work Supervisor Eric Hudspeth. “There a lot of hazards out here in these tank farms we have to deal with every day."