Pine Bluff Arsenal receives AMC safety award
August 13, 2010
Pine Bluff Arsenal was recently awarded a U.S. Army level safety award for fiscal year 2009 for industrial operations at the garrison level. Criteria for the receipt of this award, according to a memo from the Arsenal's command, was based on the installation's achievements in the following areas: safety readiness in the reduction of lost day case rates, reductions in workers' compensation costs and recognition for safety excellence including removal from the Department of Defense Personnel Safety Metric Installation Top 40 list. The award was also for fiscal year 2009 lost day case rate of 0.70, which is 25 percent below the goal set by the U.S. Army Material Command. Awards were presented to Pine Bluff and other recipients in an AMC town hall/teleconference at June 30 at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. "In September 2009, we submitted our application for the Army's industrial operations safety award, and we were notified that we received it in June," said Mark Lumpkin, director of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs. "We had achieved the lowest lost day case rate and lowest recorded workers' compensation costs in recorded history at PBA." The application described the Arsenal's rich historical background and commitment to the joint warfighter, as well as its safety commitment to the workforce. "The Arsenal is deeply committed to the safety and well-being of the workforce. Safety is the number one priority, and a recognized pillar of the Arsenal's success," read the application. "Through commitment and continuing join efforts of the workforce and Arsenal leadership, the Arsenal has made the critical step of transitioning safety from a priority, to safety as a core organizational value - fundamental to all processes..." Lumpkin said he credits our improved performance in safety on the elements of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's Voluntary Protection Program. "First and foremost is the involvement of leadership and managers. By getting leadership committed and providing the resources necessary for employees becoming involved and knowledgeable, that is the bottom line," he said. "The more we can do to achieve that, the better we will be in the future. It is going to take a commitment on everyone's behalf to take ownership and have supervisors and employees alike accountable for their safety." Lumpkin said that the focus has shifted from VPP to the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001, which is a British standard similar to the international standards of ISO. The shift is associated with the withdrawal of the Union from Arsenal management, and because of the withdrawal, PBA cannot move forward with OSHA on VPP. "The OHSAS series lines up almost perfectly to ISO 14001, and the VPP elements translate into the standard well," said Lumpkin. "We have not lost any ground." According to Trey Steiner, acting safety chief, there is no international standard yet for safety-like quality and environmental. "This is what they are trying to do with OHSAS 18001," he said. With this move, it isn't a giant leap off into something totally new, said Lumpkin. "There were things we were doing above and beyond VPP," he said. "We won't have to do anything extra for OHSAS."