ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The overall goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Association's Voluntary Protection Program is to get everyone involved in safety and health from the worker on the floor to the commander.

The culture of the workforce must change to include safety and health in everything they do.

The Safety Office wants each employee to look at his or her job and ask what hazards exist in their work area and what can be done to reduce or eliminate hazards in the workplace.

Talk to each other about safety and health and truly put safety first in every job accomplished at Anniston Army Depot. Include safety and health in every new project.

A group from the Department of Defense VPP Center for Excellence performed a survey here last week. Their top recommendation was to change the way the workforce thinks about safety and health.

Most of the written documents needed to support ANAD in its quest for VPP Star status are in place. Now, we need to focus on getting everyone -- from the leadership to each employee -- involved in the safety process.

Safety and health must be at the front of all procedures, not at the back. Don't take short cuts. Do it the way we all know is right.

Having the OSHA VPP Star will be important to ANAD in the future. The certifications we attain, and the effort the workforce puts into achieving each one, will help when DoD looks for places to perform new work. ANAD will have an advantage over installations that do not have ISO 9000, 14001, OHSAS 18001 and VPP certifications.

As with other industries that implement VPP, we expect our injury rates to come down. This will also be another plus for ANAD and, yes, that is the main reason to implement OSHA VPP at Anniston -- we will eliminate many accidents, injuries and illnesses in the workplace. We must take care of our workforce!

Page last updated Thu May 10th, 2012 at 00:00