WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. -- The Army Materiel Command has selected the Watervliet Arsenal as the Fiscal Year 2010 recipient of the Industrial Operations Safety Award, Brigade Level, due to the Arsenal's exemplary achievements in Safety and Occupational Health.

"Given our inherently dangerous activities associated with manufacturing, we should all be pleased by our collective efforts to reduce our lost time rate by 58 percent from the AMC stated goal," Arsenal Commander Colonel Mark F. Migaleddi said.

According to the Arsenal Safety Office the FY10 Safety Rates were:

Lost Time...
58 percent below AMC goal
75 percent below industry benchmark

Total Case Incident Rate...
38 percent below AMC goal
79 percent below industry benchmark

Total Lost Days from FY09 to FY10...
30 percent reduction (179 days to 53 days)

So, what strategies were implemented or reinforced last year that fostered this climate of protecting the workforce'

In FY10, a new commander's policy was established to perform command-level accident investigations within 24 hours of any incident. To reinforce the leadership's commitment, this investigation was led by the commander who was joined by the Board of Directors, the area supervisor, and the injured employee.

A "Clinic First" policy that required the Arsenal Health Clinic to be the first health care responder.

A Joint effort by teaming medical personnel with personnel from compensation, safety, and Industrial Hygiene Office. This joint effort ensured that accidents were quickly reported, investigated, and that corrections were made to avoid similar incidents.

The implementation of a SharePoint database that allowed the digitized collaboration of safety data.

A "Find it, Fix it" program was started that required each area supervisor to inspect their areas of responsibility on a bi-weekly basis and to report findings back to the Safety Office with corrective actions.

Finally, Safety communications were highlighted during weekly safety meetings where safety bulletins and special topics were reviewed.

"We cannot point to one method or tool that has by itself made the difference in bringing about a safe environment at the Arsenal," Migaleddi said. "It truly boils down to the synergy of all our efforts that has allowed our workforce to not only leave their jobs at the end of the day safely, but also to arrive home to their family whole."

"This speaks volumes about the seriousness that our workforce exhibits every day to not only protect themselves, but also to protect their band of brothers and sisters," Migaleddi added. "Simply, well done."