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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Students witness best safety practices in action

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | April 25, 2014


Muffled sounds of industrial tools could be heard through earplugs worn by Marine Corps students from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center CP-12 Intern Training Program, Fort Rucker, Ala., as they toured Production Plant Albany, April 4.

The tour was part of a daylong visit with Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s and Production Plant Albany’s Risk Management Offices.

Ten CP-12 students, accompanied by two instructors, learned about best practices, safety techniques and procedures from MCLB Albany and PPA, allowing them to see what they learned in the classroom put into action.

CP-12 is an intensive multiphase professional development course for safety professionals that includes formal classroom instruction and on-the-job training in the functional elements of the Safety and Occupational Health Program, according to Merrill Dickinson, installation safety manager, Risk Management Office, MCLB Albany.

Risk Management safety specialists briefed the students on the base’s safety programs, gave them an overview of the quarterly safety council, safety inspections and Voluntary Protection Programs.

“We are excited to have the CP-12 students here with us and to be able to share with them some of our successes and best practices,” Dickinson said. “I have been through CP-12 courses and they are demanding. I am proud to showcase our program to these exceptional safety professionals.”

MCLB Albany is regarded as having one of the most comprehensive and credible safety programs in the Marine Corps, having been recognized 11 times in the past 12 years with safety awards for program excellence, he said.

Dickinson said MCLB Albany is also poised to become the next Department of Defense Voluntary Protection Programs Star site.

Vicki Arneson-Baker, lead safety occupational health instructor, Commandant of the Marine Corps Safety Division, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, Fort Rucker, Ala., accompanied the students during their visit.

“The visit to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany is a great opportunity for students to apply what they have learned inside the classroom,” Arneson-Baker said. “The visit allowed the students the opportunity to expand what they heard in the classroom by seeing first-hand, workplace hazards, safety programs to mitigate those hazards and overall risk management processes.”

The visit gave students an opportunity to discuss best practices from the installation and industrial plant risk management process, she added.

“Learning opportunities like this one are very memorable for students,” Arneson-Baker said. “The first time the students see a facility (such as PPA), it is more of a shock and awe. They don’t realize how large the facility (is) and all of the hazards they have to control.

“(This) is more of an eye opener to see all (aspects of safety) in one place where as if they are doing an inspection at their home installation, they may only see a small hazard over in one location and then another hazard in another location,” she continued. “Here at (PPA), they see it all. So everything they talked about in the classroom is all there in one location.”

According to Arneson-Baker, this was the first opportunity to bring the students to this site.

“After watching the students’ reactions, we really want to expand and maybe next time spend a little more time in the facility doing actual inspections,” she said. “This was very valuable for our students.”

DeMarco White, CP-12 student, described his visit to MCLB Albany and PPA as phenomenal and hopes to take lessons he has learned and implement them at his command to include ergonomics, safety signs and hearing loss prevention.

White, whose parent command is 2nd Dental Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Camp Lejeune, N.C., said, he was impressed with PPA’s safety program, especially with its hearing conservation program.

“(PPA) has a program where they fit-test everyone (for hearing protection),” he said. “So (everyone) has their own (personal protective equipment) so they know it’s a perfect fit every time.”

Lamar Petties, safety and environmental manager, PPA, Marine Depot Maintenance Command, assisted Dickinson with setting up the tour of PPA.

“As the Marine Corps’ largest industrial complex, I think it is important for the students to see an effective safety program focused on heavy industrial processes like we have here in Albany,” he said.

“They asked a lot of questions, and I hope the time we spent with them gave them a better understanding of our operations.”

Todd Smith, safety supervisor, PPA, MDMC, guided the students on the tour of PPA.

“We integrate risk management into our production processes, which creates a mature safety program that places value on mishap prevention resulting in increased production and efficiencies,” Smith said.