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Safety is everyone’s job

  • Published
  • By Thomas Riste, Director
  • 88th Logistics Readiness Squadron

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- In 2012 the 88th Mission Support Group front office and 88th Logistics Readiness Squadron were officially awarded OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs Star status. Two weeks after this is published, we will be receiving our third on-site visit from OSHA to maintain our Star status. I encourage other units to attain this status and see your unit’s productivity and morale rise.

Earning Star status in OSHA’s VPP program means our workplace injury and illness rates are at or below the national average and are self-sufficient in their ability to control workplace hazards. Every three to five years, Star participants are reevaluated although their incident rates are reviewed annually.

Leadership’s commitment is essential to a successful Safety and Health Program.

Both MSG and LRS leadership have demonstrated their commitment by establishing and signing comprehensive safety policy letters. 

Management regularly briefs and addresses safety and risk management issues. As a lead-in to every meeting or briefing, the facilitator provides safety tips that are beneficial to attendees.  Management routinely incorporates safety and health tips into their recurring meetings, such as weekly staff meetings, and includes safety/VPP tips in periodic informative news e-mails. 

Listed below are some of the items our team’s leadership have focused on as a demonstration of their safety commitment:

  • Report safety issues and recommend solutions.
  • Conduct housekeeping and safety inspection in work and common areas.
  • Participate in safety investigations and reporting.
  • Train others in safety and health.
  • Write and review job safety analysis when needed.
  • Know our Safety reps: Gordon Motley and Dennis Sarver.

Our team is very involved in the health and safety of their fellow “wingmen.” All members have the authority and responsibility to formally or anonymously address safety issues through the Hazard Reporting System, chain of command or Safety Office. Our team is encouraged to go above and beyond and we encourage all Wright-Patt employees to the following:

  • Participate in the following: Employee VPP/Safety Team (Committee), incident investigations, inspections, safety reviews, hazard analysis, behavioral observations, preparing and reviewing procedures.
  • Be able to explain in general terms: VPP elements, commander’s safety policy, VPP motto, and unit safety goals and objectives.
  • Be a model of safe work behavior. Perform your work safely. Think and follow established procedures and work control documents.
  • Be aware of all hazards in the workplace and/or job tasks. If you believe any work situation places you in imminent danger to your safety or health, then you should immediately contact your supervisor for immediate action. 
  • Understand how hazards in your workplace are controlled.
  • Report safety and health issues/injuries/near misses. When safety concerns are minor and can be resolved quickly, then do so and continue with your work. Personally correct situations whenever possible.

A slogan you hear from many LRS personnel is “At work, rest or play, VPP is the only way.”