August 11, 2016 –
CAMP ROBINSON, Ark. – Safety can often be perceived as a regulatory requirement rather than an adjustable process designed to meet the unique needs of a unit. For the 80th Training Command, one of these unique needs include a safety accreditation requirement certifying that training facilities across the command can teach Soldiers of all three Army components in accordance with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s One Army School System.
To meet the TRADOC requirement, and to help Soldiers at all levels realize that safety is more than a mandatory regulatory constraint, the 80th TC hosted a safety workshop here, with the intent of establishing a command wide “Safety Culture.”
Melissa Martinez, the 80th TC safety director and occupational health specialist, said, her hope was that each participant would walk away with a passion to change the overall safety climate in their commands.
The event, which took place August 8-11, 2016, equipped more than 70 additional duty appointed safety officers with training and resources designed to help them launch their unit’s safety programs, which includes standard operating procedures.
During his address at the event, Maj. Gen. A.C. Roper, the 80th TC commander, told participants that safety is not just a buzzword, but a culture, and that lives hang in the balance when safety is ignored.
“Safety is a leader’s responsibility and we are all leaders regardless of the rank on our chests,” Roper said. “It is incumbent upon us as leaders to make sure we do everything necessary to ensure our Soldiers, professional staff members, military technicians, and civilians return home to their families.”
Brig. Gen. Jeffery A. Farnsworth, director of Army Safety, and commanding general of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, who also spoke at the event, provided his perspective on safety culture by emphasizing risk management and loss prevention. Farnsworth said that safety officers should foster a climate where safety violations can be openly expressed while the chain of command takes deliberate action to assess and mitigate risk.
“I encourage you to be proactive about risk management in every aspect of the operations process,” Farnsworth said. “What we do is inherently dangerous, but we cannot be risk adverse.”
At the start of the workshop some of the Soldiers and civilians who participated told Martinez that safety was an added mandatory requirement that took up time and manpower. At the end of the workshop, many of the same participants said the training helped them realize the importance of an effective safety program.
“I feel this workshop is good for me,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joanne Najar, 102nd Training Division headquartered in Fort Lenard Wood, Mo. “Now when I get back to my unit, I have all the tools to be successful in my job as an additional duty safety non-commissioned officer.”