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MCA employees earn merit award in safety

28 Oct 2010 | Marti Gatlin, Public Affairs Specialist

Maintenance Center Albany Marines’ and civilian-Marines’ significant achievements in safety and mishap prevention earned them the coveted 2009 Marine Corps Merit Award in Safety.

To acknowledge their efforts, Maj. Gen. James A. Kessler, commanding general, Marine Corps Logistics Command, presented the award at the 2010 MCA Employee Recognition Day at Covella Pond, Oct. 8.

Kessler commended the group for its hard work before presenting plaques to Col. Terry Reid, commander, MCA, LOGCOM, and Trent Blalock, deputy commander, MCA.

“In our quest to become known throughout the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence ‘Depot of Choice,’ safety and safety-related programs are key metrics to our success,” Reid said. “Our focus is and will always remain on the warfighter as we strive to provide our service men and women with ‘simply the best’ equipment available, anchored by a banner risk management program that focuses on the health and safety of each and every MCA employee.”

MCA’s safety program has expanded and personnel are building on its existing programs, he said.

The organization’s safety measures include an annual safety award program for one cost work center that’s identified for its safety, monthly safety metrics meetings and the Voluntary Protection Program, an-OSHA initiative introduced to MCA in 2006 that encourages and promotes excellence in occupational safety and health.

Additional measures taken include a weekly commander’s walk where Reid, Risk Management Office and Facilities Maintenance personnel walk throughout different parts of the MCA checking on safety issues and a safety spotlight in MCA’s monthly newsletter.

“There are a number of things we do regarding safety,” Reid said. “Our concern is quality products, meeting schedule and doing everything in a safe manner. Excellence is a continuous process. Safety is a continuous process.”

The safety award recognizes the unit’s Marines and civilian-Marines for achieving a reduction in overall mishaps and recordable injuries during fiscal year 2009, according to Lamar Petties, manager, RMO, MCA. A recordable injury is an injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aid such as stitches and prescription medicine.

The safety award is presented annually to Marine Corps commands that establish outstanding safety programs and have reduced recordable mishap rates during the past two years, he said.

“We want to create a safe culture (here) — this is who I am. I am a safe person whether I am at work or at home,” Petties said.

MCA focuses on 24-hour safety and encourages employees to report unsafe, unhealthy working conditions as well as recommendations for better safety practices, he added.

This is not the first time the unit has received merit awards for safety. MCA also received Department of the Navy Safety Excellence Awards in 2005 and 2007.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany