WIESBADEN, Germany -- With construction activities in dozens of countries across Europe, Africa and Israel, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District has a big mission to promote safe practices across its area.
As part of that mission, Europe District’s safety team recently hosted 22 construction professionals coming from project offices throughout Europe and Israel for the OSHA 30 Hour for Construction course throughout the week of June 13-17. Europe District’s Chief of Safety & Occupational Health Brad Lein and Safety Specialist Darrell Brooks partnered with guest instructors - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Saint Paul District Chief of Safety Jeff Kirkey and Industrial Hygienist Christopher Benavente from the U.S. Army Public Health Command Europe - to conduct the training. The team taught 23 classes throughout the week, covering such topics as stairways and ladders, fire protection and prevention, excavations and more.
“The OSHA 30-hour class focuses on construction-related activity from safety management to health hazards in construction, the proper use and function of personal protective equipment, as well as hazard specific topics like fall protection, steel erection and confined space work,” Lein said.
The training was part of the District’s larger commitment to safety and the implementation of the Corps of Engineers Safety and Occupational Health Management System, or CE-SOHMS.
“Safety and Occupational Health training is one of the six major components within CE-SOHMS,” he added. “Safety and Occupational Health training is key to ensuring our employees are provided with the knowledge they need to help protect themselves as well as help assure the safety of their projects.”
Europe District’s Chief of Engineering and Construction Roger Vogler checked in on personnel participating in the training, reinforcing leaderships commitment to the safety of our people and projects.
“Safety is key on all job sites, and we take it very seriously here in Europe District whether it’s a larger, traditional military construction site at a large base or at one of our more remote sites,” Vogler said. “I was proud to see so many construction professionals from across our footprint showing their commitment to safety by participating in this opportunity coordinated by the District’s safety team.”
CE-SOHMS is a methodology to fully integrate safety into all business operations. Through CE-SOHMS, USACE seeks to ensure risk is managed at the correct level, and to reduce injuries and illnesses of contractors and employees.
Lein emphasized CE-SOHMS and site safety’s importance to USACE’s ability to complete our mission on-time, within budget, and at a quality expected by our customers.
“Safety is very important, not only to make sure that everyone goes home at night the way they came to work that morning, but it’s also strongly correlated with a successful quality project that we deliver to our customers,” Lein said.
Deputy Area Engineer of Europe District’s Israel Area Office Maj. Daren Wajdak, participated in the training and said what he focused on the most during the class was, “mainly ensuring that the plans the contractors are emplacing are compliant with the policies, and making sure I have areas to look at to identify whether there are shortcomings, as well as are they (the contractors) enforcing their plans on their employees.”
Lein says the biggest benefit of this training at the project site is to get more people on site who have the knowledge, training, and experience to ensure that the contractor is performing the contract in accordance with the safety requirements.
“Really, the more eyes on, the better, when it comes to safety for our projects,” he said.
“We had great participation all week and a lot of experience and knowledge was shared by everyone in the class,” Lein added. “Having such a diverse group of Department of Army Civilians and Local National civilians from around the district really added to the quality of the course and benefited everyone in attendance including myself.”