Sierra Army Depot employees take lead role in Safety Stand Down event

By Doug MagillSeptember 22, 2022

HERLONG, California – Sierra Army Depot began its quarterly “Safety Stand Down Day” training, Sept. 19, beginning a weeks-long initiative as directorates across the depot emphasize employee safety in conjunction with operations to close out the Army’s fiscal year.

“Risks and hazards must be made known to our workforce and must be mitigated so we remain relevant and ready to support the Army and Joint force,” Lt. Col. Amy Cory, Sierra Army Depot commander, said. “Quarterly Safety Stand Downs are a vital part of our safety management system, allowing our employee-led safety programs an opportunity to communicate directly to our workforce.”

This iteration of Safety Stand Down Day marks the completion of the first full year of the event, after it was changed to quarterly in June 2021, after having been conducted on an annual basis. In conjunction with being changed to a quarterly event, safety stand downs are now led by employees – Collateral Duty Safety Representatives -- in individual work areas – who place a special focus specifically on safety.

“In Fiscal Year 2021, we began quarterly safety stand downs,” Rachael Long, Sierra Army Depot safety manager, said. “We find that the workforce is more receptive to shorter events, and this allows us to specifically focus on hazards for the upcoming quarter."

The depot’s safety office provides training materials and activity recommendations weeks before the event. Collateral Duty Safety Representatives are encouraged to work closely with area management to determine the time and date of their event and what activities will work best in their work centers.

“Quarterly safety stand downs have become an important aspect of our operations,” Dylan Romero, material handler supervisor, said. “CDSRs deliver safety training on various topics, and then we lead our work areas in a safety-related activity.”

This event included training on ergonomics, first aid injuries and bloodborne pathogens. Stand down events are led by CDSRs for each work area.

“As part of the depot’s VPP Star Site status, we need to ensure employees have the opportunity to contribute to and lead safety initiatives,” Long said. “In Fiscal Year 21, we started to solicit help directly from our collateral duty safety representatives in order to develop safety related curriculum and activities.”

Rorie Canham, a depot CDSR appreciated the opportunity to help her teammates learn ways to keep themselves safe.

“That’s the most important part of my job as a VPP Representative and CDSR in my opinion,” Canham said.