Beginning Sept. 4, workers will have the option to use full-face air-purifying respirators (FFAPRs) equipped with filter cartridges for low-hazard, non-waste-disturbing work at Hanford’s AN double-shell tank farm.
Offering workers the option to use of FFAPRs in the AN double shell tank farm is the result of the processes envisioned by the 2016 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) and the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council (HAMTC). That MOA requires the use of supplied air inside tank farm boundaries until respiratory cartridge testing is completed and an independent third-party expert concurs with the results. The third-party expert, StoneTurn Consultants, was selected by HAMTC to review the testing methodology, protocols, and data from the cartridge testing, and concurs with the results.
Workers began using FFAPRs in SY Farm in December 2017 and AP Farm in June 2018 for low-hazard, non-waste-disturbing work activities, and next week they will be offered the option to use them in AN Farm. All three farms are actively ventilated tank farms.
WRPS is maintaining a very thorough approach to protecting tank farm workers from potential exposure to chemical vapors.
As always, tank farm workers have the option to voluntarily upgrade their protective equipment, as long as the equipment does not produce additional safety hazards.