ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command held its first safety summit this week at Anniston Army Depot.

Representatives from various safety offices throughout the command came together to share their best practices, learn from each other and tour some of the safety improvements made over the last few years at ANAD.

Some of the topics included:
• Electrical safety
• Fall protection
• Lockout/Tagout
• Machine guarding
• Respiratory protection

Brent Jones, a safety and occupational health manager from Red River Army Depot, said many of the topics were problems he and other safety professionals faced at each of the TACOM installations.

"It's good to sit down in a relaxed setting and talk to each other about these issues," said Jones, adding the problem he most wanted to find a solution to during the week was funding to correct safety issues, such as fall protection and machine guarding, throughout his installation.

Angel Mojica, a safety specialist from Rock Island Arsenal, came into the summit hoping to take several best practices home.

"I want to learn new ways to do things to take back to our site to see if we can incorporate those into our processes," he said.

The ANAD Safety Office showcased depot safety program improvements through a tour on Monday of the Combat Vehicle Repair Facility, the Turret Shop and one of the depot's machine shops.

According to Adam Crafard, director of Safety for TACOM, the TACOM Safety Summit is intended to develop an enduring event within the command that will bring safety leaders and innovators together to share best practices, lessons learned and address enterprise-wide issues affecting the organic industrial base.

"The team will accomplish this goal through facilitated discussions regarding challenges encountered at the line level of production," said Crafard.

It was important to TACOM for this meeting to occur face-to-face to build a more cohesive team that can leverage experience and capabilities from each other's programs and foster innovative crosstalk.

"These folks are experiencing a lot of common problems in developing and sustaining their programs," said Erik Gustafson, the safety chief for TACOM.

Gustafson added TACOM has been building up to this summit through their Executive Safety and Health Advisory Counsels over the last few years, working to have the various safety professionals network with each other. This summit enhances that networking ability.

Wednesday, the summit received a briefing from a special guest.

Brig. Gen. David J. Francis, the commander of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, located in Fort Rucker, Ala., and the director of Safety for the Army, spoke to the group about safety and occupational health across the entire Army enterprise.

"It's important for us to all do what we do because it's for the young Soldiers," said Francis as he showed a video of Soldiers training in various conditions and with a variety of equipment, including howitzers and combat vehicles.

Francis outlined the priorities he has with the USACRC, including:

• Modernize the Army Safety and Occupational Health Program. This includes the re-writing of AR385-10 to make it more concise and ensure its practical use throughout the Army

• Enhance Army Safety and Health Information Management, which involves building a safety reporting system which interfaces with other systems in the Army, making it easier to report incidents and near misses.

• Improve Army Safety and Occupational Health workforce proficiency/effectiveness, which includes revitalizing the safety career field and finding the best ways to train safety professionals.

"What we need is a safety profession that is aggressive," said Francis, adding he would like to see safety professionals throughout the Army continuously looking to identify problems and then working with their commanders to solve those issues.