OSS named ‘model’ Gold site during VPP assessment Published April 18, 2013 By Jenny Gordon Robins Air Force Base Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The 78th Operations Support Squadron at Robins has achieved Gold status as part of the Robins Voluntary Protection Program Safe Site Challenge. A site assessment was conducted April 11. "It was a tremendous effort on everyone's part," said Lt. Col. Jake Trigler, 78th OSS commander. "I am very proud of how everyone in the squadron came together. With each of our flights and everything we do on the airfield, safety and risk management are a critical part of every decision made." The 78th OSS is comprised of 100 personnel that include airfield management, transient alert, air traffic control, Host Aviation Resource Management, air traffic control and landing systems, and weather operations. In preparation for the team's assessment for a Silver award last year, the squadron had a clear goal of achieving Gold status. Through its commitment to VPP principles, clear lines of communication in hazard reporting, conducting weekly safety brief-ings and continuing to accomplish work and home safety goals, the squadron can be proud of the hard work achieved during its VPP journey. "The entire squadron worked very hard on this," said Tom Geraldsen, 78th OSS VPP rep.By keeping a safety mindset and continuing the practice at home, he said that, "VPP has made it easier and more efficient to be at work." VPP site assessments are visits, not inspections, and include a union representative to reflect a true partnership effort among union, employees and management. Team members visit tour areas looking for a culture of safety and verify that employees are practicing safety principles. American Federation of Government Employees Local 987 - which participates in all VPP Gold assessments - representative Leslie Rogers noted the squadron's efforts in redesigning work areas for better efficiency and safety, employee rewards, removing unnecessary lighting and using round-the-clock safety checklists. In particular, she pointed out the weekly walk-arounds of all buildings and office spaces. "One of the areas under 78th OSS's purview reported an uneven cracked walkway leading into a building. A work order was submitted to prevent slips or falls, and in the interim personnel thought outside the box by using bold pink spray paint on the walkway for awareness until it could be properly repaired," said Rogers. "In this time of decreasing funds and resources, these over-and-above efforts show a true commitment to the Robins Safe Site Challenge." The Safe Site Chall-enge, which began in 2008, is a locally-developed approach to implementing VPP tenets across Robins. Recognition is awarded to offices, shops or teams and smaller areas for commitment to safety and health. Assessments are conducted to help ensure a thorough examination of a site's true maturity level in adhering to VPP principles. "The 78th OSS is one of our finest VPP safe sites to date with an excellent Safety & Health Management System," said Allen Quattlebaum, installation VPP program manager. "They demonstrated a keen understanding of risk management principles, and effectively applied hazard identification, control measures and continuous improvement in all of its administrative and industrial work areas." Editor's Note: 345 AFMC safe sites at Robins have achieved various levels: 183 Gold; 114 Silver; 26 Bronze; and 22 Green.