Safety is a frame of mind; individual responsibility

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Debra North
  • 341st Space Wing Safety Officer
Safety is an individual responsibility. It is up to each and every one of us to safely perform tasks while managing and mitigating the risks in our jobs, around our homes and in everything we do. 

Fortunately we have safety experts on base to help us navigate through some of the more challenging issues dealing with safety and operational risk management. The wing safety office is composed of three shops: flight, ground and weapons. These safety professionals continuously evaluate numerous programs for safety compliance and coordinate the implementation of the Safety, Health, and Return to Employment Program which promotes safe workplaces around the entire base. They conduct the unit annual safety inspections and the required inspections of base facilities, launch facilities and missile alert facilities. These inspections provide commanders with an overview of their safety programs and their facilities, and include recommendations on how programs could be improved. The safety office has persistent investigators who conduct numerous mishap investigations throughout the year. These investigations cover weapons, ground and flight mishaps; and could result in reports such as an Air Force Safety Auto-mated System report or a Mishap Report. During these investigations, analysis of the facts of the incident is conducted then findings and recommendations are provided to leadership to facilitate the preventiion of future mishaps. 

The safety office has partnered multiple times with other base agencies and the local community on a variety of programs. Three examples of these programs are the child car seat installation clinics, the DUI prevention program and the Mid-Air Collision Avoidance program. Hundreds of parents have been educated on how to properly install their children's car seats through joint efforts with the community. In coordination with local police agencies and base law enforcement, DUI prevention demonstrations have been developed which provide eye-opening messages on the hazards of drinking and driving. The MACA program coordinates efforts with local airports to ensure the free flow of MACA information and encourage effective communication between base and local airport managers. 

The men and women of your wing safety office are recognized stewards of safety and working together with the other members of Team Malmstrom, they have made immeasurable contributions toward the readiness posture of this Nation's ICBM fleet. In the past year, squadrons and individuals around the base have embraced safety and in the process they have earned more than 25 quarterly and annual higher-headquarters awards. Of these, the wing safety shops have received five AFSPC and 20 AF quarterly awards and the 20th Air Force Annual Ground Safety Award. The Wing Traffic Safety Manager was also selected as the 2006 AFSPC GEICO Public Service Award Traffic Safety and Accident Prevention recipient. Together with the Weapons Storage Area troops, the weapons safety shop earned Air Force Explosive Plaque recipient honors.
Although the wing safety office has safety professionals who are here to help in the completion of the wing's mission, the bottom line is that it is up to each individual Airman to work smart and play smart.