Army Safety leader shares success with industry
October 16, 2012
(Ozark, Ala.)--The command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., helped a local firm celebrate two years of work with no time lost due to accidents.
Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Stidley visited Bell Helicopter employees Oct. 15 at the firm's Customizing and Remanufacturing Facility in Ozark, Ala.
"Safety is the same, here in a manufacturing environment or in the Army," Stidley said. "It's about thinking before you act, it's about making good choices, it's about stopping an accident before it happens."
Stidley pointed out the important role leadership plays in keeping a safety program energized on a daily basis.
"If leadership and management are involved, show they care that safety is important and apply resources to safety, you're going to have a successful program," he said.
Stidley explained how the success of the Army Safety Program has reduced accidental deaths among Soldiers.
"In fiscal 2012, we had a total of 161 fatalities, that's down from 299 in 2005," he said. "Our concern now isn't necessarily just the Soldiers in Afghanistan, it's what happens when they return home and get into avoidable accidents because of drinking, driving too fast or not wearing seat belts."
According to Les Lee, support services manager, Bell Helicopter-Ozark, each of the approximately 140 employees at Bell is encouraged to think safety and be proactive in taking measures to correct a problem if they find one, or bring it to the attention of their supervisor.
"We say that every person is a safety officer," Lee said. "We don't have one group working on safety and others who aren't."
At the beginning of each work shift, he explained, employees are asked by their supervisors if they know of any safety issues or have any questions. The success of their safety program shows in the numbers of accidents at their facility: 16 reportable accidents in 2007, none in 2011.
"We feel good about going two years with no reportable accidents, but we know that's when you have to be that much more vigilant," Lee said. "The good numbers don't do anything but talk about the past. We know our safety program is only as good as our attitude and behavior today."
For additional safety information, visit https://safety.army.mil.