The U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) recently announced the 3rd Infantry Division as the recipient of the FORSCOM Safety Award for fiscal year 2022. The award is given annually to a unit within FORSCOM that demonstrates utmost safety both on and off duty in accordance with the Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA PAM) 385-10, which covers the Army Safety Program and its yearly award nomination process.
“The Army Safety Program is all about preserving life and property, protecting Soldiers along with civilians from injury, property damage, property loss, and threats to the mission at stake,” said John Hornick, the director of safety and occupational health for the 3rd ID. “We want to reduce those factors because they degrade the mission. If the mission is degraded just enough, those factors can impede the ability of units to complete the mission.”
To be a potential recipient of the award, a unit’s safety team must submit an essay listing achievements and steps made to increase safety measures within their unit. In addition, nominees must submit various graphics to support the essay and any supporting statistics. Judging for the award extends to a multitude of categories including various types of vehicular safety, workplace safety, notable accomplishments, efforts made to remedy potential safety hazards, and safety outside of the work environment.
During fiscal year 2022, Hornick and his team made efforts to make everyone a part of 3rd ID as safe as possible. This included providing motorcycle lessons, giving privately owned vehicle inspections, and conducting weapons training.
While the award has already been claimed by the 3rd ID Safety team, they still strive for maximum safety in fiscal year 2023 and future years to come. Their top priority is to ensure leaders are educated on safety tips and tricks so they can pass that valuable, potentially life-saving information to their respective subordinates.
“We are the Army’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and we are here to help guide the commanders through the labyrinth of OSHA regulations,” said Hornick. “When we talk about what we do, [which] ranges from educating leaders to reminding them of the seriousness of taking proper safety measures, we have gotten folks to think about good risk management, making good risk decisions, and [reporting] hazards that we can bring experts to fix. [Submitting a] work order is the first step in hazard management. The fact that everybody understands they can put in a work order and address it is a big step forward to managing hazards along with making Fort Stewart a safer living environment.”
There are many jobs within the Army that have Soldiers face potential safety hazards daily. The 3rd Infantry Division makes it a mission to make sure Soldiers and their personnel complete their jobs with precision while also making it home at the end of every duty day.
“My job is to remind people to practice safe habits and remind people of the potential safety hazards that are associated with any given task,” said Charles Woodward, the safety manager for 3rd ID. “If this isn’t done, people can become injured, lives can be lost, and equipment could become damaged. This especially relates to readiness and being prepared for any mission at hand. If proper safety protocols aren’t met, the mission could become jeopardized.”
The 3rd Infantry Division strives for safety on a daily basis, ensuring Soldiers and their respective units are up to date on safety requirements. This includes various, annual courses taught by civilians and noncommissioned officers, as well as giving hands-on instruction to Soldiers on safety tips pertaining to their specific military occupational specialty (MOS).
Hornick and Woodward’s jobs revolve around ensuring the health and physical well-being of people. Educating people on safety is a cornerstone with lessons encouraging people to practice daily, and mitigating potential risks and decisions associated with any given task. The 3rd ID Safety Team’s goal is to help people stay safe.