Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon, Warner Robins Air Logistics commander, updates members of the media Wednesday on the status of issues brought to light by Occupational Safety and Health Administration findings. U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp
Ronnie Gadola displays a Purflo helmet, part of the next generation of respirators that are currently on order and will be used at Robins. The Purflo is a self-contained respirator that is lighter, less cumbersome, and will cut down on the de-contamination process. U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp
7/15/2011 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Robins has made great strides in resolving safety issues brought to light by Occupational Safety and Health Administration findings and is committed to strengthening the safety culture on the base, Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon told members of the media Wednesday.
McMahon, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center Commander, said 36 of the 39 OSHA findings have been resolved, two are expected to be resolved by October, and one is being re-evaluated jointly by senior leadership from labor and management.
He credited the progress in part to a strengthened relationship with the union, an assessment backed up by a union representative at the news conference.
"It has given a lot of confidence to workers," said Maurice Zammit, representing American Federation of Government Employees Local 987. "They aren't afraid to speak out if they have an issue or a problem."
McMahon also noted a team of 25 people from organizations across the base has been assembled to address safety and health issues full-time.
One of the most significant issues with the OSHA findings related to hazardous dust created during the sanding of painted aircraft parts. McMahon said new processes have been put in place to ensure the dust is better contained during sanding, and that dust which does escape is quickly and adequately cleaned up.
The base has also implemented a testing process in which the 78th Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight goes into buildings where potentially-hazardous substances are located and takes swipe samples to ensure proper housekeeping is being performed. The samples are tested both here and at an independent lab as an integrity assurance to workers.
McMahon said the objective of the efforts is not just to resolve the OSHA issues but to look at safety issues across the base.
"We are going to be a model not only for the Air Force but for the Department of Defense for industrial safety," McMahon said.
He also touched on productivity issues, citing marked improvement in performance across the Center.
Although he acknowledged there is still much work to do, he is proud of the significant progress being made and is confident the Center is trending in the right direction.