"Safety first" at AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Safety took top billing as the Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate observed its annual Safety Down Day Jan. 21.

The all-day event included presentations, vendor displays, individual group sessions, and special guest speakers.  All personnel were encouraged to devote the day to learning about safety as well as assessing and improving safety throughout their workspaces.

The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate comprises nearly 1,000 civilian and contractor staff, working across a broad spectrum of scientific research.  The organization operates more than 300 dedicated laboratory modules with thousands of specialized test and equipment items.  Additionally, it is responsible for tracking and controlling over 30,000 chemicals, one of the largest chemical inventories in the United States Air force.

Maj. James Enderby, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate Lead Bioenvironmental Engineer, served as the master of ceremonies for the event's large-group safety briefings, which included discussions on fire safety, active shooter, chemical hygiene, health and wellness, and emergency management topics.

"It is important to take this day to focus on health and safety so that we can maintain risk management as an integral part of every task," Enderby said.

Mr. Thomas Lockhart, Director of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, urged personnel to use the day to take a break from everyday routines and refocus on ways to maximize workplace and personal safety.

Vendors were present throughout the event to display safety-related wares and offer solutions to common concerns in office and lab environments.  Directorate personnel were also available to provide materials and answer questions, and staff from the base Health and Wellness Center offered on-site health screenings.