An Innovative Environmental Technologies Demonstration was the first major event held as part of a cooperative agreement between the 400,000-member International Union of Operating Engineers and the U.S. Department of Energy . The demonstration and an open house with approximately 50 exhibitors was held in Washington, D.C. on November 1 and 2.
IUOE and DOE entered into the cooperative agreement in September to assess human factors for environmental technologies. The agreement is the first time that labor, government, and industry have come together to assess environmental technologies for worker safety- and health-related concerns. IUOE General President Frank Hanley, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary of Science and Technology Clyde Frank, and Davitt McAteer of the Mine Safety and Health Administration initiated the agreement. As part of the five-year, $9.8 million agreement, technologies being developed by DOE will be tested by members of IUOE at the Mine Safety and Health Administration facility in Beaver, West Virginia. Operators will evaluate how workers will interact with the cleanup equipment and make recommendations for how the equipment could be designed for better worker safety and comfort.
It is expected that 10 to 15 technologies will be tested per year. One of the first technologies to be tested will be the dvanced Worker Protection System (see related article).