Huntsville Center Emphases Safety Leading into June’s National Safety Month

With June’s National Safety Month quickly approaching, employees from U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (Huntsville Center) expanded their safety knowledge by taking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10 training course to improve understanding of safety measures for a variety of scenarios.

The training was conducted over two days, May 8-9, and was led by Todd Lewis, Huntsville Center safety and occupational health manager, with guest speakers Ben Bailey, Huntsville Center safety and occupational health manager and Charles Harris, Huntsville Center safety specialist.

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“The training teaches participants general situational awareness about identifying and preventing workplace and construction site hazards. It lays the foundation for an effective safety culture within our organization,” Lewis said.

Army Civilians are encouraged to engage in opportunities for continuous training and leadership development to elevate their skills and optimize the total force’s effectiveness.

Todd Lewis, Huntsville Center safety and occupational health manager, presents Corey Washington, project manager, and Pamela Green, contract specialist, a hinged anchor, May 9, 2024. USACE PHOTO BY LILLIAN PUTNAM

Lewis said there is a need for trainings to ensure safety procedures are followed when situations arise.

“Our partners in the industry are guided by OSHA and Engineering Manual 385 regulations. It is our duty to understand those elements to guarantee we are delivering the safest, lowest risk, hazard free solutions to the problems and situations we encounter as we engineer the Nation’s toughest challenges.” he said.

The 15 course participants included professionals from across a variety of disciplines including contracting, cyber-security, munitions, engineering and more.

“I really enjoyed the course and found the training quite informative. I would recommend this course to everyone,” said Santiago Mardis-Vidaurri, administrative technician and participant.

The course focused on four main components of safety hazards: electrical, falls, struck by, caught in-between. Instructors reviewed OSHA regulations, proper personal protection and lifesaving equipment and arc flash safety, among many other safety protocols.

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“It was important for me to take this course for self-awareness in my professional and personal life. I enjoyed learning about topics that will help my safety throughout my day-to-day,” Mardis-Vidaurri said.

Participants were able to don personal protection and lifesaving equipment, fall protection gear, and utilize Virtual Reality testing to replace the final component of a site visit review.

“Utilizing VR to conduct hazard recognition means we are in a controlled environment not actually in any real danger, and it fosters large group engagement with a spark of technology. It is a huge leap into the modernization of USACE,” Lewis said.

Not only did the course offer participants with safety procedures for construction sites and workplace environments, but it also provides safety practices for work at home.

“Teaching Huntsville Center personnel about hazard and risk analysis shifts the culture to a proactive force that values safety in all we do, not just at work,” Lewis said.

Huntsville Center has conducted 10 safety trainings so far this fiscal year, three being OSHA 10 courses.

The Safety Office offers the following trainings quarterly: OSHA 10 hour, Hazwoper, CPR/First-aid, Blood Borne Pathogens and Arc Flash Training.

If you are interested in becoming OSHA certified or taking another safety course, contact your local safety office for training opportunities.

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