Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. -- With support from Joint Munitions Command's senior leaders, a new headquarters Soldier and civilian Employee Safety Committee has been established to build a safety culture from the ground up.

The purpose of this new committee was "to assist in implementing the organization's safety and health program," said Luke Kearns, Chief, JMC Safety Office. This new initiative "ensures the safety and health of all personnel, contractors, visitors, and the safe conduct of all headquarters operations in support of JMC missions."

With guidance and direction from Kearns, this new committee's board members were filled with a president, vice president and secretary. In addition, numerous employees from within the command volunteered to be a part of the Army workplace safety team. The committee meets regularly to make a "positive difference in the command," added Kearns.

"This is a fine safety initiative that I believe will make a difference in our headquarters culture," said Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka O'Neal, committee chairperson. "It has my full support and I am looking forward to being actively involved in its efforts."

Recently, Gail Tutt has taken on the role of the ESC president. She believes "the headquarters staff can benefit as the JMC Safety Team, leadership and other subject matter experts meet to regularly discuss safety topics, best practices and lessons learned from other organizations which have successfully established a safety culture.

"I am proud and excited to serve as the current ESC president," said Tutt. "This is definitely a unique professional development opportunity for the entire committee to gain both knowledge and hands-on training in the safety field. I believe the ESC can make a difference for JMC as we work together to build the foundation for a robust safety culture here."

There have also been safety committee successes across JMC's ammunition enterprise. Efforts at Letterkenny Munitions Center and Blue Grass Army Depot have shown that employee involvement with the committee has enhanced their respective installations' safety programs. With that in mind, the safety committee has high goals as it strives to make and keep the headquarters work environment safe.