Report Reviews Hanford Program On Worker Concerns

Jul 24, 2012

A new federal report says managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation respond appropriately to most concerns brought up by employees. But the study says sometimes officials at the southeast Washington site don’t explain well enough to employees how they resolve each concern. The report also says initial interviews with concerned employees were often incomplete or too abbreviated to do a proper investigation later.

Tom Carpenter heads a Seattle-area Hanford watchdog group. Carpenter notes the report says problems raised by contractor employees ended up with the contractor itself to investigate.

Carpenter: “And those employers then look at it themselves and hey, they don’t see any problem with their own behavior. Well that’s ridiculous. And this is the way it’s been for years and actually, decades.”

The report was done by the U.S. Department of Energy’s office of Health, Safety and Security. Hanford managers requested the study and say they’ve taken steps to respond to employee concerns more effectively.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio

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