By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)September 19, 2019
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- In 2007, Anniston Army Depot was the first installation in the Department of Defense to be presented with an Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001 certification.
The depot was the first organization in the U.S. to be certified to the 2007 standard.
Twelve years later, ANAD is again among the first in safety standardization as the installation achieves ISO 45001 certification.
According to John Rogers, a safety engineer for ANAD, prior to 2018, the International Organization for Standardization, abbreviated ISO, had guidelines for standardization of quality (ISO 9001) and emergency management (ISO 14001), but none for safety.
Once ISO 45001 was developed, organizations who held previous OSHAS 18001 certifications were given three years to transition.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration states ISO 45001:2018 is the first truly international safety and health program standard involving over 70 countries.
ANAD's ISO 45001 assessment was held June 17-22. During the visit, auditors noted three opportunities for improvement, two observations and two minor nonconformities.
A minor nonconformity, according to BSI, the company which conducted the assessment, is "a single identified lapse, which, in itself, would not indicate a breakdown in the management system's ability to effectively control the processes for which it was intended."
The opportunities for improvement were found in nitrogen cylinder storage at Bldg. 400, potential expansion of the ANAD-OHS Manual Section 9.3 in preparation for annual management reviews and inclusion of rally points for evacuations on posted diagrams.
The observations were that ANAD 385-01 was in revision and 40 percent of injuries involved employees with less than one year on the job.
The minor nonconformities were job hazard analyses which had not been updated since January 2018 and internal audits were not maintained according to schedule.
Rogers said ANAD's work toward the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Challenge program assisted with the ISO certification. As the installation continues to work toward the Voluntary Protection Program Star status, it should continue to make the safety program stronger.
"You put them all together and it makes our safety better," said Rogers.
ANAD is the first installation within the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command to achieve ISO 45001 certification.
"We have a lot of best practices within TACOM and Army Materiel Command," said Drew Ramsey, chief of the depot's Safety Office, adding that the installation's goal is to be an Industrial Safety Center of Excellence.
Now that ANAD has achieved certification, it must maintain the safety system.
Much of this is invisible to employees, outside of inspections on the shop floors, as the standards involve safety policies and procedures.
Assessments will be held twice a year, with the next scheduled for December.
"Assessment looks at a small portion of the system. During recertification, the auditors will pull out the entire standard and go through the whole thing," said Rogers, adding recertification occurs every three years.