Three years of living less dangerously

By Tim Hoyle Dispositon Services

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While people enjoy being recognized for what they have done, the Defense Logistics Agency safety program recently recognized those supporting DLA Disposition Services operations in Afghanistan for something they did not do for almost three years – lose work time from accidents.

A Certificate of Safety Excellence presented by the DLA Support Team Afghanistan recognized the military, civilian and contracted personnel who supported DLA Disposition Services operations at nine different sites in Afghanistan for completing 1,000 days, from June 2015 to March 2018, without a single lost time mishap.  

“This recognition is not just for the individuals here now, but for the many that have come and gone the last three years,” said Matt Lazar, DST-Afghanistan’s safety officer. “The combined effort culminated in an outstanding record for the level of hazards our team is exposed to on a daily basis.  It truly rivals our best records back stateside.” 

Some of the safety practices Lazar credited for the safe working environment included the training performed on ammo abatement, shredder operations, cutting techniques with torches, container movement and keeping bays clean. He praised previously deployed teams for developing a technique to use a forklift to roll a vehicle to make sure any hidden live ammunition is shaken loose before unfired rounds can cause an accident during disposal.  Lazar also noted the use of a trailer as a raised platform to allow scrap material to be tossed in at the height of the shredder instead of manually heaving items over the nearly 7-foot side of the machine, greatly reducing possible injuries from poor ergonomics.

Lazar said he is happy to work “with a group so committed to the mission while keeping safety at the forefront.  As a safety professional, this is the atmosphere you hope for when you work with a group of people.”