REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama – With June being National Safety Month, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command took a day to focus on safety as well as the physical and mental health of its employees.
USASMDC hosted a Safety and SHARP Awareness Day to promote awareness June 29 at the command’s headquarters on Redstone Arsenal.
“Safety and SHARP continues to be priority focus for the command’s leadership,” said James Johnson, deputy to the SMDC commander. “We appreciate the team's efforts today to share the latest information and themes with the workforce. Safety is a mindset and needs to be incorporated throughout our daily activities – at work, home, or while traveling.
“We also want to ensure everyone is working in a safe environment where they are treated with dignity and respect,” Johnson added.
The purpose of the event is to promote safety awareness; to minimize the risk of unintentional death, injury or damage caused by mishaps; promote proactive safety measures within the command elements in Huntsville and recognize June as National Safety Month.
Safety and SHARP Awareness Day highlighted SMDC’s commitments to employee safety and health by bringing in local vendors to demonstrate and promote safety awareness.
“Safety awareness is something every Soldier, and employee must have at all times,” said Bobby Taylor, SMDC Command Safety director. “It only takes one second to have an accident that could have easily been prevented with simple awareness. Our vendors will provide information to the workforce that is applicable inside and outside of the workplace.
“There is no bigger asset to the workforce than people,” he continued. “It is our responsibility to do everything in our control to ensure our workforce is fully equipped to prevent accidents inside and outside of the workplace. Accidents that destroy lives and families can often be prevented with simple risk management techniques and safety awareness. Our priority as a command is to establish a strong safety culture where safety awareness becomes second nature to the workforce.
“The concept of having safety awareness seems like common sense, but the reality is we live in a world filled with distractions and hyper-efficiency,” Taylor added. “In today’s climate employees are more apt to taking shortcuts and ignoring rules that they feel are not important. As a workforce, we constantly have to fight against these urges to prevent unsafe acts. The Safety Office cannot successfully keep everyone safe, it requires everyone in the workforce to establish a strong safety culture.”
SMDC employees got a firsthand chance to learn about local safety and health issues unique to Alabama and the Tennessee Valley. Exhibits and safety demonstrations included running and walking safety, motorcycle safety, automated external defibrillator safety, heat stroke prevention, fire safety, snake awareness, weapons safety and boating safety.
Alongside safety, SMDC team members learned how the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, program helps provide commanders with the tools to prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment and associated retaliation in the Army. The program also ensures that the Army is able to provide professional, compassionate and comprehensive care and support to victims if these incidents do occur.
“Sexual harassment and assault is prevalent in our society today,” said Jennifer L. Blatter, SMDC SHARP program manager. “We see it on television, we hear about it on the news, our music, movies and multiple other platforms are normalizing sexual harassment and assault by making it acceptable in day-to-day life. The SHARP program is a vital component in the fight against these behaviors that destroy trust within our ranks.”
Blatter added that Safety and SHARP Awareness Day is an opportunity for the workforce to get information from professionals in the field.
“The SHARP program assists survivors of sexual assault and complainants of sexual harassment,” she said. “We are there from the beginning and we continue providing support and resources until the survivor feels they no longer need our services.