Safe Site status grows as VPP challenges met Published May 1, 2009 By Wayne Crenshaw 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The list of workplaces at Robins earning Safe Site status keeps getting bigger. In the Commander's Safe Site Challenge, 12 workplaces on base have won gold, 82 have met silver level requirements and 58 have achieved bronze recognition, said Melanie Clearman, program manager for the Voluntary Protection Program at Robins. That's a total of 152 workplaces with some form of Safe Site recognition. Ms. Clearman said 260 workplaces on base are involved in the Safe Site program. The aim of the Safe Site Challenge is to improve workplace safety and ultimately help the entire base win Star recognition. That is the highest honor in the Occupational, Health and Safety Administration's Voluntary Protection Program. "I believe that the success of our VPP efforts is directly related to the locally developed Commander's Safe Site Challenge," Ms. Clearman said. "Sites which have accepted the challenge are motivated to make their workplace safer and healthier." The latest to win gold status is the engineering data office of the 584th Combat Sustainment Squadron. The office is only the second in the 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing to win gold status. The office is made up of 32 people, said section chief John Fowler. The unit won silver in October and since that time has worked to make further safety improvements, he said. The office has also mentored other units in the wing looking to earn Safe Site status, he said. Among the focus of the group is ergonomics. Employees are encouraged to stand up at least once an hour and do stretches to avoid problems that may occur from sitting at a computer for a long period of time. A poster by each computer gives a list of stretches that can be done. He also said the office has put focus on home safety, encouraging employees to have a fire extinguisher and a fire alarm in their homes. When the initiative began only two employees had a fire extinguisher at home, and now every employee has one. They also have a meeting every Monday morning to discuss health and safety. "We really believe in it," he said of the VPP program. "We are really into it. We want to take care of one another." He also said the unit isn't stopping its efforts with the gold honor. The office is currently working to make sure employees have emergency kits for tornados and floods. Also recently the 78th Air Base Wing Inspector General office and the 78 ABW Weather Flight have been award Silver Safe Site status. Ms. Clearman said improving safety at home is an important aspect of the VPP program. "That is the ultimate goal - safe at work and at home, she said."