Deputy commander conducts safety inspection as Troop Support reaches for star status

By Jason Kaneshiro DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support took a step towards achieving recognition for workplace safety with a senior leader inspection Sept. 29.

Richard Ellis, DLA Troop Support deputy commander, did a quarterly safety inspection of the command areas of Building 36. The inspection was part of the agency’s continuing efforts to maintain a safe work environment that will also lead to obtaining Voluntary Protection Programs Star Status.

Ellis checked the areas for tripping dangers, material safety data sheets where hazardous materials are stored and quizzed employees about the proper number to call when there’s an emergency on base. (It’s 3333 from any telephone on base.)

Ellis also advised employees to be aware of their surroundings and to always be mindful of safety concerns.

“Everybody has a responsibility for safety,” Ellis said. “If they see something that doesn’t look right or may be a hazard, they ought to bring it to their supervisor’s attention.”

The VPP is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration program that encourages cooperative efforts between management, employees and unions to improve workplace safety. Star Status is earned when an organization implements a comprehensive safety and health management system verified by OSHA inspectors.

Completing the required quarterly senior leader inspections brings DLA Troop Support closer to achieving Star Status, said Keith Cheng, DLA Troop Support safety manager.

Cheng said that senior leaders demonstrate their commitment to safety in the workplace when they personally conduct the quarterly safety walkthroughs.

“They also create a positive safety culture where everyone gets involved in safety,” Cheng said. “Employees respond by taking a more active interest in safety.”

A workforce that follows safety guidelines and remains illness, injury and accident free is the primary beneficiary of the VPP, Cheng said.

The next major step to achieving Star Status is an assistance visit scheduled for November. Contractors sent by DLA Headquarters will go over the safety and health management system in place here during the visit and make recommendations that should allow Troop Support to pass OSHA’s pre-audit safety inspection.