Soldiers and Airmen in the Pennsylvania National Guard attended an Occupational Safety and Health Administration course hosted at the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Jan. 29-30 2020, near Pittsburgh, Pa. Eighteen members from the Army National Guard were in attendance in addition to 10 airmen. The goal is to minimize the amount of injuries and accidents by properly informing military members of safety standards. Guardsmen are constantly working towards integrating safety into their daily work centers.
“I now better understand the general job related health and safety hazards and how we can mitigate future injuries,” said 1st Sgt. Roger Nichols, Army National Guard. “The military uses OSHA guidelines for safe working conditions, assuring both our troops and missions are not negatively impacted.”
This course was introductory and touched on all aspects of safety in the military. It was taught in 10 hours and was broken into topics of fall protection, egress and fire prevention, electrical safety, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, machine guarding, blood borne pathogens, health programs and ergonomics. When there are two different standards between the military and OSHA, the most stringent one is adopted and followed.
This was the first course held that the Army and Air National Guard attended together. The Pennsylvania National Guard is hoping to unify the safety standards across both Army and Air. The Air Force has a full-time career field dedicated to safety whereas the Army treats it as a temporary duty for all other specialities except aviation.
“It’s how we conduct business,” said Sergeant First Class Kieth Russell, from the PA National Guard state safety office at Fort Indiantown Gap. “We provide soldiers the training to keep them safe whether on or off duty hoping they take bits and pieces back to co-workers and their home lives to keep everyone safe.”