By Mr. Ramee Opperude (Regional Health Command Pacific)July 27, 2018
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (July 26, 2018) -- The U. S Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks Safety Team hosted a community wide Safety Stand Down day July 26 on Schofield Barracks.
The event offered training and activities designed for both service members and civilian staff from across the clinic. In addition to the safety experts on site from the clinic there were also representatives from the federal fire department; Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (Outdoor Recreation), and local military police who provided subject matter expertise about summer safety.
"As a leader, safety is and will always be important in accomplishing my daily dutiesm whether it is related to my work here in the clinic or leading Soldiers," said Staff Sgt. Robert Balcombe, behavioral health noncommissioned officer, USAHC-SB. "If I tried to cut corners and expose my Soldiers to more risk than is prudent, I can compromise not only my Soldiers' safety and well-being but also our mission. Without safety countermeasures in place, it becomes increasingly difficult to succeed."
Capt. Walt Watson was the lead planner for the event as the USAHC-SB's primary safety officer. Watson discussed several key training objectives for the day during his opening remarks to the clinic attendees.
"Events like the Safety Stand Down are an important opportunity for employees and managers to create a dialogue on the necessity of safety in the workplace," Watson said. "Hosting Safety Stand Down events helps to create a mindset that when partnered with initiatives (we can work) to reduce worksite hazards, emphasize employee training and leadership involvement and its positive impacts on the culture of an organization."
"Events like our Safety Stand Down Day show our staff that safety is not only important, it's a top priority for this organization," Watson added.
One key training area that the safety officers wanted to highlight during the training was the Army Safety and Health Management System.
"The goal of ASHMS is for the management and employees to actively participate in the USAHC-SB safety program in order to foster a culture of safety throughout the organization," Watson said. "Put simply it is the integration of occupational health and risk management into how we perform our jobs on a daily basis. When we see something we need to say or do something."
ASHMS is based upon four pillars: Manager Involvement, Worksite Analysis, Safety and Health Training, Hazard Prevention and Control.
These four elements are the pillars that comprise a strong and successful safety program.
"It is important for leaders to stress safety in their section because having a safe working environment allows everyone to do their job without fear of injury," Balcombe said. "There are risks involved in everything we do. As leaders we should take the initiative to train our staff about safety concerns in their area, to promote a culture of safety not only within their section or department, but across the entire clinic."
Safety at the Patient-Centered Medical Home is a primary area of emphasis due to its direct connections to the family and veteran populations which it serves, leaders noted.
"Staff and patient safety should hold tremendous importance for every command and leader," said Lt. Col. Luis Rodriguez, clinical nurse officer in charge, PCMH. "Healthy employees who feel safe and comfortable in their work environment will work more productively than employees who become injured or sick in the workplace. Injuries cost time and money and fewer injuries increase productivity."
Each clinic at the USAHC-SB has a leader in charge of patient and staff safety, and those leaders were on site to assist with training and answering questions during the event.
"A good safety program is one in which everyone actively participates to integrate safety into the daily routine. (They) know what to do if you are injured; (they) know their rights as an employee, and they know your workplace hazards," Watson said.