Name: Bernard Jaye
Job title: Safety Officer
Assigned: Logistics Readiness Center Benelux, 405th Army Field Support Brigade
Location: Chievres Air Base, Belgium
Experience: I’ve been in service with the Army for 38 years. I began my service working in transportation as a school bus monitor. I was also the material control center manager for more than 15 years. We were the first location in U.S. Army Europe to track chemicals and hazardous materials from the cradle to the grave. The valuable experience I gained doing this job helped prepare me for my current position as the safety officer for LRC Benelux.
Other Service: I served a mandatory conscription service with the Belgium army for one year, and I was a Belgium city policeman for two years before I started working for the U.S. Army.
Hometown: Ath, Belgium
Family: I’ve been married to my wife, Veronique, for one year in January. I also have two children. My boy is 33 years old, and my girl is 39 years old.
Q: Can you explain what your duties are as the safety officer at LRC Benelux, 405th AFSB?
A: The safety officer position at LRC Benelux was created about four years ago. It’s been a real challenge for me to build the safety program within LRC Benelux as its first safety officer. Nothing existed before I took the job. I had to create and build the program from the ground up. The safety program here categorizes LRC Benelux job positions by risk level. We have low risk job positions such as office workers and clerks. We have moderate or medium risk job positions such as warehouse workers, material handlers, forklift operators and drivers. And we have high risk job positions in the Maintenance Division where they work with chemicals, heavy equipment, machinery and large vehicles. Also LRC Benelux has a paint booth – I’m going to say this is probably one of our riskiest areas. Safety is a team effort. I work very closely with the 405th AFSB Safety Office, the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux Safety Office and our five collateral duty safety officers – one CDSO at each location across Benelux. I’d like to thank Dalmar Hooper, the brigade safety officer, for his support.
Q: Why is your position as LRC Benelux safety officer so important?
A: We need to protect our employees and avoid accidents. Life is very important, and we don’t want anyone getting hurt unnecessarily. To do this, I really try to stress prevention. I provide safety training, and I conduct safety inspections as measures of safety prevention and protection. In legal terms, we are obligated to follow both U.S. and Belgium regulations when it comes to safety and accident prevention. Two important safety program tasks I directly helped LRC Benelux achieve recently are new shelving in the warehouses, which according to Belgium regulation was needed. And we recently established a forklift safety program, which has been in place for two months. We now have a certified instructor able to provide forklift driver’s training.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job, and what motivates you?
A: I like to come to work every day because I’m proud to work for the U.S. Army. The collaboration I have been a part of all these years has been so great – learning so many different things from so many different people – people of different backgrounds, different nationalities, and different ways of thinking and doing business. It’s been a real privilege to work for the U.S. Army. To be a part of such a big mission protecting Europe – it’s wonderful. Next, my goal is to be the first Belgium local national employee to be Safety Certification Level I qualified under the U.S. system, and I’m working really hard to achieve that goal.
LRC Benelux and 405th AFSB: When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC-Benelux directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of USAG Benelux. LRC-Benelux reports to the 405th AFSB, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.