November 13, 2014 --
The Carson Conference room was filled with an attentive audience Nov. 5 during the Voluntary Protection Program out brief assessment from Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Attendees listened intently as the announcement was made, “We have recommended you for a star site within the VPP.”
Dan DeHart, VPP officer, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Region 4, made the announcement and the crowd erupted in cheers and applause. The final step to becoming a star site is a simple procedural process involving reviewing submitted paperwork and obtaining final signatures of approval according to DeHart. He suggested this procedure may be completed as early as the end of December.
Once the base has obtained the required signatures, a flag raising ceremony will be scheduled to celebrate MCLB Albany becoming a VPP Star Site. DeHart explained this is a momentous occasion which signifies great accomplishment by everyone. He cautioned however, “The goal is not flying the flag; the goal is to make sure everyone goes home safe.”
DeHart stated from his assessment he believes employees at MCLB Albany have adapted that philosophy. “I rate MCLB Albany a strong 9,” DeHart said. He poured accolades on the employees for their knowledge of VPP standards and habits relating to safety.
Marc Greenfield, OSHA compliance officer, echoed those comments by saying the response he got from base employees was very different from what he is accustomed to encountering.
“I’m accustomed to people attempting to dodge any engagement with me when I am on a site,” Greenfield said. People don’t usually want to be interviewed, he continued. “Everyone here was eager to speak with me, which is very uncommon.”
“When I spoke with people, the knowledge was there, when I observed people the practices were there. This base is right on target as far as I am concerned,” Greenfield added.
Once confirmed, MCLB Albany will be one of only two Marine Corps Bases with VPP star status.