BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Some Airman are tasked with the vital job of identifying hazards and potential mishaps in a work environment. That is where the 460th Space Wing Safety Office mission begins.
Safety of all Department of Defense members and assets is one of the highest priorities in today's military. With accidents and mishaps happening each year, the 150 members assigned to safety offices around the globe shows the importance that has been placed on safety.
There are multiple disciplines within safety such as ground, aviation, space and orbital, and weapons safety divisions. Each area is assigned a safety representative that works to provide preventive measures in their respective areas.
Safety representatives could be looked to as safety detectives, ensuring Air Force and federal safety regulations, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards are implemented and followed exactly. Non-compliance of an accident on or off base involving military members is investigated by the safety office.
"Just because we are a federal installation and we have military wearing the uniform and doing the jobs, OSHA can still cite an organization for non-compliance of a federal regulation," said Stephen McMillan, 460th SW ground safety manager.
Safety doesn't just work for the Air Force side of the base. Every person stepping foot on this base involved in a mishap or accident will be investigated by safety. This is not to fault or punish, but to make appropriate preparations and recommendations and set in place preventive measures to ensure it doesn't happen again.
"The goal here is for all of us to be successful. We are all a part of the big picture," said James Wright, 460th SW deputy chief of safety and chief of weapons and explosives. "We are a spoke in the wheel, and the wheel can't operate with all the spokes not being in place; and that's the way we try to approach our everyday job. Are we out there looking? Are we out there providing advice? Are the commanders aware of the areas of vulnerabilities? Are we putting procedures in place to prevent a mishap from occurring? Those are all the keys to the success of what we do day to day."
Airmen may leave and Airmen may arrive. No matter where they, go safety is safety, and disregarding it could cost someone their life.
"To all Airmen, the majority of mishaps continue to be off-duty mishaps," McMillan said. "We do a real good job when we are at work of risk management and eliminating risks in what we do on the job. Where we find ourselves deficient is applying those same standards to mitigating risks in our personal lives when we are off work. Just to have people stop and think. Assess what is going on, what risks can you control and take the appropriate measures to reduce the risk to you in your personal lives as well as what you do at work."
With every exercise mission at Buckley, there is a safety representative behind the scenes ensuring all guidelines are being followed for the safe completion of the mission.
For more information, visit the Air Force Safety Center
website or call the 460th SW base safety office, 720-847-SAFE(7233)