The founding partnership, led by HAMMER’s namesake and local civic icon, Sam Volpentest, knew that it would take a disciplined, diverse committee to provide the direction, guidance and strategic planning HAMMER needed to make a truly impactful center. As a result, the HAMMER Steering Committee was formed in the spring of 1994. The Committee started with 25 members including three Tribal governments, four International Union General presidents and two council presidents, senior DOE management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US Department of Transportation, the states of Oregon and Washington, academia, and DOE contractors. The Committee has grown to approximately 50 members, with 12 union presidents, and the addition of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the US Department of Homeland Security, and labor representation from the United Kingdom. The Committee’s primary focus remains the health and safety of workers and emergency responders and the Steering Committee is routinely addressed by congressional members, labor presidents, and workplace safety experts.
The twice yearly Steering Committee meetings provide a national and international forum to define issues, propose solutions and broker expert guidance for addressing worker safety and health training.
Through the leadership of the Steering Committee, a number of unique and successful initiatives have been implemented. These include standardized safety training programs, reduction of redundant training, validating the benefits of blended learning and hands-on training, the Worker Trainer Program, and the Construction Worker Safety Training Program. Subcommittees include Medical Surveillance, Tribal and Labor, which focus on solving special issues affecting the Hanford workforce.