Fort Campbell gains recognition for workplace safety efforts
January 16, 2009
FORT CAMPBELL, KY -- Jan. 16, 2009 -- Garrison officials were recognized this week for their efforts to reduce falls from ladders, fingers caught in table saws and other workplace accidents.
Installation Safety Office Supervisor Duane Soumis, who presented certificates to Fort Campbell directorates at a Tuesday meeting of the Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council, said the leaders took safety seriously.
Aca,!A"This culture and climate is proactive toward safety,Aca,!A? Soumis said. Aca,!A"And it really starts with supervisors.Aca,!A?
Each supervisor was responsible for reducing the accidents and lost time injuries in his directorate. The Chief of Staff of the ArmyAca,!a,,cs 2008 goal for Fort Campbell overall was 40 percent reduction from its 2006 numbers. Soumis said the combined effort of Fort Campbell USAG achieved a 41 percent reduction.
Class A and B accidents, which involve injuries resulting in fatality or loss of limbs, were reduced to zero.
The feat was impressive enough that Garrison Commander Col. Frederick Swope nominated the installation for the U.S. Army Exceptional Organization Safety Award. Aca,!A"Fort Campbell USAGAca,!A|has successfully reversed the trend of accidental and operational mishaps into a success story,Aca,!A? Swope wrote in a memo to the Director of Army Safety awards office in Arlington, Va.
Swope noted that the garrison accomplished the reduction during a deployment year, when the demands of supporting the 101st Airborne Division are at a peak.
Winners of the 2008 Garrison Safety Award will be announced this spring.
The improvements at Fort Campbell can be credited to several initiatives undertaken by the garrison command group, Soumis said.
First, risk management training was completed by 99 percent of assigned USAG employees and all new hires. Garrison workers learned how to incorporate a safety plan into all missions with the risk of fatality, injury or property damage. Missions might include installation events such as carnivals or combat exercises at a weapons range or drop zone.
To carry out the garrison-wide training, supervisors designated members of their own staff to serve as collateral duty safety officers. These internal officers made sure each employee in the directorate received the appropriate training.
In addition to consulting the directorates, Fort Campbell ISO safety specialists inspected 59 high-risk and 244 medium-risk facilities. When hazards were identified, notice was given within one week and compliance checked within 30 days.
Inspections of some machine shops turned up saws, grinders and other equipment without the necessary guards. The deficient machinery was then retrofitted with safety attachments or replaced in a timely manner.
George Arzente, a garrison safety specialist who conducted some of the inspections, praised the cooperation of directorates and contractors. Garrison supervisors set aside manpower and money to make the needed improvements.
Aca,!A"I think it was a joint effort by everyone involved,Aca,!A? Arzente said.
Another key effort came from the safety advisory council which met on a quarterly basis to analyze accident trends and plan countermeasures.
Soumis said the council was particularly effective because it identified recurrent problems and responded methodically to eliminate them.
When the council noticed a trend of injuries that resulted in falls from ladders, the council directed that classes and demonstrations be given about the safe use of ladders. After these countermeasures, the frequency of falls was greatly reduced.