ANAD VPP update: where we started, where we are, where we want to be
January 31, 2013
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala -- Following a Department of Defense mandate, Anniston's Army Depot's Voluntary Protection Program journey began in September 2010, when the depot's management team and AFGE Local 1945 formulated a plan to work toward VPP Star status.
At that time, the depot was ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 certified. This gave the depot team confidence that star status could be achieved if the same amount of dedication, effort and persistence was put into the VPP journey.
Additionally, one of Anniston's sister depots had already achieved VPP Star status and others were close to achieving the same status.
Within the last four to six months, the depot has made significant progress in the VPP arena. The majority of the workforce has been trained to an awareness level and some individuals and cost centers have received program-specific training.
In-depth VPP training for some employees has included courses taught through DoD VPP Center of Excellence, Occupational Safety and Health Administration seminars at the VPP Regional and National conferences and interaction with private industry VPP Star sites.
In addition to their monthly training on specific VPP concepts, a majority of the Directorate of Production safety monitors have received four hours of training on the depot's new Go-to-Reference manual.
The GTR's cornerstone document is ANAD's Safety Regulation (385-1). The GTR also contains documents common to all cost centers -- for example, I Care cards, inspection forms and logs. In addition, the GTR contains documents specific to each cost center, like Job Hazard Analyses and Job Safety Breakdowns.
The intent of the GTR is to a have a reference book that is familiar to all employees; one they can use even if they transfer to another cost center. Training at the employee level will continue until VPP Star status is achieved.
Just around the corner, Feb. 4-7, is a mock OSHA VPP audit by the DoD VPP CX contractor. This mock audit will closely resemble what we can expect from the OSHA audit.
All safety programs will be evaluated and employees will be informally interviewed.
The ultimate objective of the auditor is to determine whether all depot employees have the level of safety awareness, buy-in and participation that VPP Star status demands.
Employee attitude is important and auditors concentrate on this portion of VPP more than any other. Based on this mock audit, the depot will know where we are and how we need to proceed with respect to submitting our application to OSHA.
Once the application is submitted, sustainment is key because the actual audit may not occur for six months to a year. Sustainment includes maintaining the safety excellence mind-set and attitude. Each and every employee must realize how important this is to the installation and to their career employment at Anniston Army Depot.