San Joaquin’s Slater Receives Safety Professional of the Year Top Honor

By Annette Silva, DLA Distribution San Joaquin Public Affairs

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Carlton Slater, supervisor of Defense Logistic Agency Distribution San Joaquin, California’s Occupational Safety and Health program was awarded Safety Professional of the Year top honors at the DLA’s 52nd Annual Employee Recognition Program ceremony Dec. 6 held at the Andrew T. McNamara Complex, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. 

His extensive safety expertise in concert with management, employees and DLA Distribution San Joaquin’s union partners ensuring safe working conditions for more than 1,400 employees led to his selection. 

“Mr. Slater is a remarkable safety advocate and his direct involvement throughout the year contributed to San Joaquin’s many safety accolades and he was the driving force behind a safety program worthy of benchmarking across DLA,” commented Marine Col. Tiffany Harris, distribution center commander.  

Under his management, Slater’s team completed 541 safety inspections to include 41 annual facility inspections and 248 spot inspections. His team identified and recommended technically sound corrective actions for more than 497 hazards and deficiencies. 

The distribution center has been designated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as a Voluntary Protection Program Star Site for the past eight years. As an advocate for employee involvement, Slater ensured the workforce remained focused on the VPP program. He served as a mentor and subject matter expert to five VPP Sub-committees consisting of over 60 volunteer employees.

Another highlight during his tenure was evaluating the needs of his staff to prepare for future challenges by developing his team for future leadership roles in the safety profession. He advocated for professional safety development training by doubling the number of OSHA authorized instructors from two to four. This resulted in more training opportunities, providing 760 hours of hazard control and mishap prevention instruction.  

Further, Slater was the driving force of the Division’s Safety Representative and Collateral Duty Safety Coordinator programs. These programs fortified the distribution center’s safety culture by providing opportunities for direct employee involvement in the day-to-day safety efforts. These programs were responsible for completing 1,872 self-inspections and played a major role in hazard identification and mishap prevention. 

A highlight of Slater’s leadership in the safety arena was the distribution center being awarded the 2018 Department of Defense VPP Achievement Award, the first DLA site to achieve this recognition since the award’s inception. It was his technical expertise and trained safety specialists on proper OSHA reporting requirements that led to this achievement. 

Slater’s strong alliance with management, employees and union partners helped cement the distribution center’s “One Site, One Flag” motto and was key to the installation’s reputation of safety excellence. He is very deserving to be named the DLA Safety Professional of the Year.