MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga -- Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Maintenance Center Albany both received a Marine Corps Merit Award in safety for Fiscal Year 2003.
According to Marine Corps Order 5100.32, the award is presented to Marine Corps commands that establish an outstanding safety program and have reduced their reportable mishap rates over the previous two years.
The awards are given out in groups, which are based on the amount of people, or average population for each area. MCLB won the award in the Group III category, which is based on an average population of 1,000-4,999 people.
The maintenance center won its award in the Group IV category, which is based on a population of less than 1,000 people.
According to Merrill E. Dickinson, manager, Risk Management Office here, MCLB has not been recognized for its safety program in 10 years.
"The past few years marked a significant transformation in the command safety program," Dickinson said. "We reduced civilian lost-time mishaps by 40 percent from FY '01 to FY '03, and we have organizations on base that are setting records for months without a lost-time mishap.
"Active duty Marine lost-time mishaps are the lowest they have been in 18 months, and we have integrated operational risk management in everything we do," Dickinson added. "Comprehensive and credible workplace safety and fire prevention inspections have been instrumental in ensuring we are providing safe and healthful working conditions for all employees."
The achievements in the command safety program have been increased due to command emphasis, employee involvement, supervisor accountability and strong support from the occupational medicine staff at the Branch Medical Clinic here.
"Employee safety is a core value within the command," Dickinson said. "Our program has been recognized at the DoD and Department of the Navy levels for its mishap reduction efforts and workers' compensation cost reduction initiatives."
Dickinson went on to say that he expects this to be the first of many awards that the base will be receiving to honor the achievements in mishap reduction and protecting the safety and health of our workforce.
The maintenance center was also recognized for this award because of the decreases in mishaps and workday cases.
During FY '03, the maintenance center reduced total mishaps by 25 percent, and reduced total time workday cases by 55 percent. In the first five months of FY '04, it also reduced lost time workday cases by 98 percent.
The maintenance center has initiated programs and practices to make these kinds of changes. It has started a Safety Training Observation Program, which allows supervisors time to inspect areas of the center. It has also set up safety meetings every Monday to talk about the observations they have made using the observation program.
"Although FY '03 was a successful year for the maintenance center, "we will continue to strive for improvements in all areas of safety," said Trent Blalock, deputy commander, MCA."