Safety top priority for Team McChord Published July 28, 2006 By Senior Airman Tiffany Orr 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The 62nd Airlift Wing Safety Office has many tools and procedures to keep safety at the forefront of everything McChord Airmen accomplish. One aspect of the program every Airman is very familiar with is preventative safety measures. Ken Heath, 62nd Airlift Wing ground safety superintendent, said something as simple as McChord Airmen wearing reflective belts on the flightline and during hours of reduced visibility can have a positive impact on the mission. “People can’t do the mission if they are getting hurt on the job,” he said. “People have to be able to do their job safely to be able to do their mission.” In addition to preventative measures, the safety office also relies on education and training to inform McChord’s maintenance and logistics communities about the importance of safety. “We’ve produced [videos] for Wingman Day and the 101 Critical Days of Summer,” said Mr. Heath. “We do work center visits also, so we are out assisting the supervisors with their programs to make sure everybody’s doing everything safely.” Trend analysis is another preventative action the safety office uses, said Mr. Heath. “We have a database that tracks all the mishaps,” he said. “There are four different classes of mishaps, A, B, C and D … that get reported to the Air Force Safety Center. The most common mishaps are class D, when you go to the clinic because you stubbed your toe, for example.” Mr. Heath said Airmen are doing a good job using the preventative measures, such as operational risk management, not taking shortcuts and using technical training orders. “I think our supervisors are doing a good job of stressing the need to follow the guidance established,” he said. However, the Air Mobility Command’s safety Web site reminds Airmen that preventative safety measures such as ORM should not be limited to work environments, because safety “can be applied to every part of your life” including “recreation, vacation and your drive home from the office.” Tech. Sgt. Frederick Molina, 62nd Airlift Wing flight safety noncommissioned officer, said he agrees with the AMC’s policy on ORM and safety procedures. “It’s just common sense to use safety,” he said. “Everything we do, even outside of the base, we still have to be thinking ORM. Mishaps cost money. If we can decrease them as much as possible, we are not only saving lives, we are saving Air Force resources.” If an Airman recognizes a potential safety hazard, he or she should report it to a supervisor, said Mr. Heath. Airmen can also report potential safety hazards to the safety office with an Air Force Form 457, Hazard Report Form, which is available on the safety office’s Web site and on every safety bulletin board around the base, said Mr. Heath.