“HAMMER is the most important labor-management partnerships in this country. It successfully brings together diverse groups to solve and debate the important education, health and safety issues of the day. HAMMER should not be unique to Hanford but shared throughout the DOE Complex and become the signature model for tripartite relations throughout North America”

HAMMER Training Restarts After COVID-19 Shutdown

On May 28, 2020, the HAMMER Federal Training Center located on the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington successfully reopened its doors and restarted instructor-led, hands-on training for the workforce. Training had been put on hold in March when the Department of Energy closed the site to all but essential mission-critical operations personnel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Planning for HAMMER’s restart with the shifting COVID-19 landscape required the establishment of new processes including safety procedures and training methods. The HAMMER Worker Trainers, members of HAMTC or CWB&CTC who teach part time, would be key to the successful reopening of training starting with Respiratory Protection, HAZWOPER, and Beryllium courses.

COVID-19 safety and health considerations and ways to mitigate the hazards were a huge challenge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with OSHA, Washington State, and Hanford Site guidance were constantly modified as the pandemic progressed. There were many who doubted a safe reopening of HAMMER would be possible. Many of the Worker Trainers stepped forward and accepted the challenge to reopen and teach classes. Some were not able to participate due to concerns for family and personal health.

Hanford workers face many hazards in their daily work including chemical, radiological, heat/cold stress, just to name a few. They understand what needs to be done to mitigate hazards both in general and specifically. COVID-19 hazards would require a deeper look at all activities involved in training and working at HAMMER in order to keep personnel safe. The Worker Trainers stepped up and took ownership of what would need to be done to reopen their classes.

HAMMER Training Restarts After COVID-19 Shutdown (pdf)


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