TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Tobyhanna employees signed a new safety banner to show their commitment to a zero injuries goal.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is certified as a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star site and adopted the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001 standard, which governs management systems.
Tobyhanna has been a VPP site since 1999 and a Star site since 2000.

"Employees first signed the banner in the 1999-2000 time frame," said Jim Wisnewski, chief of the Safety and Occupational Health Office. "We still have that banner, but wanted a new one because the majority of our workforce was not here then. We want to make sure we get the word out on VPP and this is one way to show everyone's commitment."

VPP promotes effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management, labor, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.

The OHSAS 18001 standard is applicable to all activities here, including repair, overhaul, integration, fabrication, power projection and logistics support of communications--electronics equipment and systems; and industrial support processes, facility and equipment maintenance.
The depot's robust and extensive safety program outlines personnel responsibilities and provides implementation instructions, goals and methods to monitor its success.

Wisnewski said safety is tracked and reinforced at every level, from the commanding officer to the technicians who carry out repairs and testing. For instance, employees participate in the Safety Star Point Program, Target and Objective Teams, and Safety Hazard/Near Miss Reporting Program. Additionally, every Tobyhanna employee is empowered to stop unsafe acts via the Safety Red Card Program, as outlined by Commander's Policy #3.

"These activities provide a forum for all employees to discuss safety issues or concerns," Wisnewski said. Active participation in the depot's comprehensive programs provides a continuous exchange of information between leadership, employees, tenant organizations, various contractor activities and union officials.

Tobyhanna's proactive approach to safety also includes the Safety Hazard Reporting Program, which allows employees to report potentially unsafe conditions so that they can be corrected in a timely manner, preventing injuries from occurring. The Red Card Program reminds employees of their empowerment and responsibility to stop and correct unsafe acts and conditions.

Tobyhanna maintains an injury/illness rate that is 46 percent below the North American Industrial Classification System Rate in the Repair and Maintenance Category 811.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our Joint Warfighters.

About 3,200 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.