ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Anniston Munitions Center passed an important milestone Oct. 16 - four years without a lost time accident.

"This achievement took a lot of work on everyone's part," said ANMC Commander Lt. Col. David Schmitt. "This wasn't just because of the safety officer or the commander. This was because of everyone."

A lost time accident is any injury occurring within the organization that takes an employee off duty for at least one 24-hour period.

The last time that happened for ANMC was Oct. 16, 2008, when an employee's back was injured.

A number of things contribute to ANMC's safety record, but primary among them is the empowerment each employee is given with regards to safety.

Each employee has the ability to stop operations at any time if a safety issue arises.

"We are a close-knit family," said Cynthia Blakley, safety specialist for ANMC. "Most employees don't hesitate to call safety in for any issue."

The safety policies and commitment to safety within the organization is documented in the safety contract the workforce and leadership sign.

The contract was first implemented last year.

Additionally, every Tuesday, ANMC performs a safety walkabout. This is a time for Schmitt and other leaders to view the various work areas with Blakley, the supervisors and the employees.

During the tour, and, actually, any time an issue arises, employees are encouraged to point out potential problems to the leadership and the Safety Office, according to Blakley.

Four years of no lost time accidents is not enough for the organization, though. Already, employees are looking forward to their fifth year and further into the future.

"The challenge now is not to get complacent or satisfied with our achievement," said Schmitt.

With approximately 130 government civilians, ANMC has been in existence in its current state since 1998, when it stood up operations for the first time as a major tenant activity under the name Anniston Defense Munitions Center. Before then, these operations were conducted under the installation commander in the depot's Directorate of Ammunition.