Pine Bluff Arsenal employees earned the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command Annual Safety Award for Fiscal Year 2018 recently.

According to information in an email from Roch Bryne, Arsenal Deputy to the Commander, this is a top installation safety award from the Arsenal's headquarters, and is awarded for excellence in safety.

"Collectively, we have lowered our injury rates every year for the last five years," said Byrne in the email. "This achievement recognizes a reduction in employee injuries, increased productivity and significantly lowered workers' compensation costs. With this achievement, PBA's performance and ability to provide readiness to the Warfighter has greatly improved."

In the November 2018 issue of the Arsenal Sentinel, it was reported that the installation finished FY 2018 with one lost-time injury -- a historical first for the Arsenal.

"The goal of course is zero, however, considering the many different function this great Arsenal performs over the course of a year for our Warfighters, this achievement is outstanding," said Byrne in the Sentinel. "The credit goes to the men and women that perform the difficult jobs every day. Their attention to detail and commitment to excellence with respect to safety is remarkable. It is an honor to work with such a great team."

Another significant safety milestone was met Dec. 11, when Arsenal employees exceeded one million hours worked without a lost-time injury. According to Arsenal Commander Col. Luis Ortiz in his weekly report to JMC, this achievement is a high-performance milestone and an indicator of a world-class workforce that is dedicated to safety.

"This achievement required a commitment to safety excellence from all PBA employees," read the report entry. "The workforce deserves the credit and recognition for this success. PBA employees are well trained, follow safety procedures and look out for co-workers to help keep everyone safe. This achievement is the result of a continuous effort over the past 10 years to improve the PBA safety culture."

In 2003, the Arsenal was number one on the Department of Defense Top 40 list, which was a list of all the installation failing in the area of safety. "As a result of our safety record at that time, PBA was nominated to participate in a program from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration called the Voluntary Protection Program," said Mark Lumpkin, Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs director in the November article. "Since that time, PBA has been able to create a positive change in the safety culture."

In 2008, lost-time and recordable injuries started being published in the Arsenal Sentinel -- offering a monthly look at where the installation stood with its safety record. The installation continued to improve its safety record when a million man hours without a lost-time injury was achieved during fiscal year 2010. At the time, this was the first time in more than 15 years that milestone had been achieved.