Phillips garners depot award, ANAD DPW receives safety honor
Anniston Army Depot heavy mobile equipment mechanic Shane Phillips, left, was recognized Nov. 22 as the Directorate of Public Works' Safe Employee of the Quarter. Phillips is pictured here with mechanic Chris McCollum.

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - The depot's Directorate of Public Works recognized another watchful worker Nov. 22 when it presented the Safe Employee of the Quarter award to Shane Phillips.

Phillips, a heavy mobile equipment mechanic, was nominated for this award by his peers for work that went above what was expected of him, said DPW's Safety Committee chairperson Dawne Knight.

His idea and wherewithal to improve the tow bar system has eliminated strain for employees in the Nichols Industrial Complex who hook and unhook combat vehicles from tow tractors. This system will allow the operator, from the cab of the tow tractor, to shift a lever moving the tow bar to different heights and angles.

"This should greatly reduce the chance of back injuries and possible loss of limb by the worker on the ground having to put himself in a bad position in order to position the bar," said Knight.

The engineering effort by Phillips is also saving resources.

"His invention not only gives us a safer way to tow vehicles, it's more efficient because it now takes just one person to work this part of the process instead of two or three," said director of public works Tommy Gaines.

Phillips installed a bearing that allows for effortless rotation of the tow bar from side to side at almost 100 degrees with the use of just one hand, said Gaines.

"Everybody in the shop put forth effort in this project, not just me," said Phillips. "It took several times before we got it right. The hydraulics were there and it was just a matter of making it work with the lever."

DPW implemented an intra-organizational employee recognition program in 2009 to encourage and reward people who take extra steps in looking out for the safety of their coworkers. The directorate also has its own safety pledge and safety monitors.

"We do a lot of dangerous work on a daily basis, and when people like Shane are thinking safety in all they do, that's important to us all," said Gaines.

<b>AMC Exceptional Organization</b>

It was announced in November that DPW won the U.S. Army Materiel Command's Safety Award at the Army company level for the directorate's efforts in improving its safety culture. Winning this award puts DPW in the running for the overall Army safety award at the company level.

"The employee recognition program and what everyone in DPW is doing to look out for other people is making jobs safer on the depot," said Sue Turton, depot safety chief.

Looking at injury rate reduction records, Turton touted DPW as the model organization.

Turton said though DPW undertakes such diverse, complex work, she had to go into the financial sector to find any injury charts that resembled those of DPW.

"DPW's injury rate is so far below comparable industry that it's closer to the injury rates seen at banks," said Turton.

During fiscal year 2010, DPW sustained three injuries at a level recorded by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and only one of the three resulted in lost time. Additional award justification shows that DPW's total OSHA recordable injury rate, 1.26, is much lower than that of the overall installation, 4.5.

Page last updated Thu December 9th, 2010 at 11:07