Garrison safety office brings OSHA training to Fort Belvoir for community safety workers
September 30, 2013
The Fort Belvoir Safety Office hosted its first Occupational Safety and Health Administration training event Sept. 16-25.
The training included four separate classes -- Confined Space, Accident Investigation, Safety Program Management and Hazardous Materials -- offered to safety personnel from a variety of Fort Belvoir partner organizations and other local installations.
Offering the OSHA classes on Fort Belvoir allowed local safety workers to satisfy requirements without traveling to the Army Safety Center on Fort Rucker, Ala., which they had to do in the past.
"It saves the Army a tremendous amount of money," said Chris McCormick, garrison safety director.
It also maximized training opportunities for safety personnel working in other fields or on other installations.
"The command agreed to do the training, but it wanted to open it up to the other installations in the area," McCormick said. "The classroom has been full every day. It really shows that our command is dedicated to safety."
Thirty-two safety workers representing the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fire Department, Army Corps of Engineers partner units and Garrison Safety Office attended one or more of the classes, along with safety offices from Fort Meade, Fort Lee and Fort A.P. Hill. In addition to learning in the classroom, the students visited Davison Army Airfield and Fort Belvoir's Fire Department to see different types of safety equipment.
Bill Abney, class instructor from the Eastern Kentucky University OSHA Training Institute, said the class included the Army safety standards and regulations.
"It helps you run your safety program more efficiently -- compliant with the standard -- but also gives you information to help protect Soldiers and civilians on base," he said.
Spc. Zhu Shao, FBCH, healthcare specialist, attended the Accident Investigation Class.
"I'm a medic, and coming into this situation is very helpful," she said. "On the first day, we talked about accidents and the definitions of accidents and the types of accidents. We went over how to do the investigation and all the regulations we have."
Carol Jackson, FBCH, occupational health nurse, said the Accident Investigation class was a helpful refresher for her as well.
"In the field I'm in, I will be seeing patients, or the employees that I serve, who have been involved in an accident," she said. "When I see a patient for the first time and I need to find out why that rash is on your neck, I'm gathering information as we go along. It's more detailed, as far as how to get that bit of information for the accident report to assist in prevention, and preventive medicine is what we're all about."
For Ron Myers, Fort Belvoir Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, safety office manager, the best part of the OSHA classes was the chance to connect with other safety workers here.
"All of us are able to exchange ideas and network and know who's who," he said. "It's better than just going off site to a class where you're the only person from Fort Belvoir."
For more information on garrison safety programs, visit the Fort Belvoir Installation Safety Office webpage at https://www.belvoir.army.mil/safety.