U.S. ARMY GARRISON - YONGSAN, KOREA -- Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital (BAACH) is receiving a 'Safety Star' as recognition of its successful completion of the Army Safety and Health Management System (ASHMS) audit. The survey took place from June 5-7. BAACH became the first military treatment facility within Regional Health Command-Pacific to be given this honor.

ASHMS is the development of a culture of safety in which safety is part of everyone's daily routine. The purpose of ASHMS is to promote an effective worksite-based safety and health program. It is a cooperative, action-oriented approach where supervisors, managers, employees and the contractors work together to combat workplace hazards to reduce injuries and illness.

BAACH has demonstrated that the organization has met all Occupational Safety and Health Administration Voluntary Protection Program's requirements for full implementation of the Army's Safety and Health Management System. During a year of preparation, work site analysis was completed which was followed by strategic efforts to eliminate and control hazards in the workplace. Management commitment and repetitive trainings raised active participation of the staff in the hospital which nurtured the culture of safety in the hospital.

To effectively manage worksite hazards, BAACH created the 'ASHMS tracking log' that performs as the control tower. It helped track each department's safety plan from hazardous chemical inventories to fire plans.

"We marked ones that are good in green and ones that need development in red. It allowed faster identification of where the improvement should made," said Un Chong Cho, BAACH safety specialist.

Cho also emphasized that a successful audit was possible because the staff was actively engaging in making their workplace safer.

Employees in BAACH have been putting in efforts to assimilate the culture of safety in their daily routine by practicing to assess and prevent the potential hazards in their work stations. All sections appointed 'ASHMS Safety Representatives' to ensure the entire staff understood their OSHA rights. Monthly Safety training was also conducted by the Command Safety Office for all safety representatives to include the Veterinary and Dental Command.

The first annual 'Stop Sticks Campaign' held on May 18, 2017, was one of the best examples of BAACH's efforts to minimize the reoccurrence of hazardous accidents. Since needle stick incidences were analyzed to be one of the top three causes of injuries in the hospital, the BAACH safety office hosted this campaign to reduce future risks. Over two hundred staff members who are involved with medical sharps were required to partake in the round-robin event which provided hands-on testing of new medical sharps items, educational information about handling sharps and proper handling of sharps containers.

"Coming to work knowing that you are working in the safe place and that you are participating to make it safer is very important. This recognition will serve as the cornerstone on which our organization will continue to build a continuously safer organization for those we serve," said Col. Erica Clarkson, BAACH commander.

The celebration of being recognized as one of the safest places to work will take place on the arrival of the banner in August 2017.