RICHLAND, Wash. – A new respiratory protection course at the Hanford Site’s Volpentest HAMMER Federal Training Center features an “escape room” with an engaging twist: employees wear supplied air equipment while they answer questions, discover clues and solve puzzles in a simulated work environment.
They’re under pressure to “escape” or complete the activity safely in a limited amount of time before their air bottles empty. The simulation helps the employees learn the limitations, advantages and disadvantages of respiratory protection equipment.
Managed by EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Hanford Mission Integration Solutions, HAMMER programs train Hanford workers in a range of skills through hands-on activities and real-life scenarios. HAMMER stands for Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response.
The center’s worker-trainers help develop and deliver many of the courses. Their skills and firsthand experience in the field make them knowledgeable and relatable to employees taking the courses.
“HAMMER worker-trainers are recognized as safety advocates by their peers, and they successfully bridge the gap between the field and classroom while providing advanced safety training,” said Angela Stoddard, RL program manager. “Their efforts to innovate educational methods also ensure a strong, consistent and continuously improving safety culture across the Hanford Site.”
Another creative learning activity tests the ability to read and understand a respiratory protection form while under pressure from responding to simulated alarms. Employees also demonstrate equipment knowledge in responding to a simulated loss of air while wearing a supplied air respirator.
“HAMMER staff and worker-trainers frequently implement course improvements to meet the Hanford Site’s evolving training needs,” said Paul Vandervert, director of HAMMER. “Employee feedback on updates to the respiratory program course has been very positive.”
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