Military News

Friday, May 15, 2015

ANG Safety Office holds Mishap Prevention Workshop

by Master Sgt. Paula Aragon
150th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

5/15/2015 - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Members of the Air National Guard safety community participated in a three day safety workshop, held here May 12-14, which centered on the theme "Don't Let Your Guard Down."

The Mishap Prevention Workshop offered ANG safety professionals a way to reconnect, reapply, and brainstorm ideas and best practices that participants can take back to their respective units.

James Rubeor, Air Force Safety Center executive director, kicked off the conference with a dynamic welcoming of the attendees from each ANG unit. His address focused on his passion for safety and how it pertains to everyone to help make the workplace environment hazard free, not just those in the safety career field.

"The Air National Guard is a vital part of the total force team and represents a large portion of our combat power." said Rubeor. "They do an outstanding job of focusing on safety while maintaining their combat readiness. This workshop has been an outstanding forum to share ideas and best practices with the Safety Center and we'll be a better and safer Air Force for the collaboration,"

Some of the issues discussed at the workshop include vehicle and workplace safety, with presentations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The workshop also offered breakout modules which touched on incorporating safety into mission accomplishment, risk management, and cultivating a culture of safety. The NTSA's briefer, Mr. Kim Hazelbacker, showed videos on how many of the vehicles today fail to meet safety standards despite the claims stating otherwise. With the various demonstrations and points being presented, attendees are able to leave with valuable data they can share with their respective units and their friends and families.

"The ideas from this workshop can be taken back to the units to make a real difference in safety", said Senior Master Sgt. Trey Hamm, 117th Air Refueling Wing, Alabama ANG. "Workshops like this one motivate and educate safety professionals, who return home to motivate and educate others, resulting in an improved culture of safety at their units."

One of the biggest advantages to these types of workshops is the reconnecting of friendships and networking with new safety professionals. The materials, presentations and examples help to drive home mishap prevention and help the attendees think about how they can impart a safety policy that instills and educates a consistent and safe culture. Dr. Anthony Cortez, Embry Riddle Aviation University, gave vibrant examples and exercises which offered many of the attendees to brainstorm new ideas revamp current ones and just collaborate with one another.  Settings such as these allow for some stimulating conversations and impact everyone at the workshop.

"The variety of examples provided opportunities to see how the components of this of the system can be applied across a spectrum of situations and operations," said Colt Brumm, Safety and Occupational Health Manager, 224th Air Defense Group. "From the workshop material the manner of presentation and conversations with counterparts, I am leaving with a much greater understanding of the Air Force safety culture and methods used to achieve mishap prevention."

Safety is not just a mindset but in many ways a way of life in the prevention of mishaps.  The safety professionals now have a better idea on how to help change the way their units view safety. Instead of looking at safety in a negative way, they can now influence the "safety lifestyle" to be more positive and share with their unit's members such a valuable tool, which they can also share with their families.

If you have questions or concerns regarding safety, please contact your local safety office.

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