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Team wraps up ESOHCAMP on Andersen

  • Published
  • By Russ Grossley
  • 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental Flight
Andsersen's internal Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Assessment and Management Program officials conducted a base-wide assessment of Andersen's compliance in areas including safety, occupational health and environmental regulations this week. 

To help better prepare Team Andersen for the future, here are some common findings that are easy to avoid with some planning and proper documentation.

Inadequate hazard communication documentation
This means Air Force Forms 55 are not being signed off. Don't leave "low hanging fruit" for the assessment team ...sign off your training immediately or after any training event.

No workplace-specific HAZCOM training or instructions
Supervisors are required to provide HAZCOM briefings/instructions to new personnel within 30 days of arrival. 

Consider adding this to your orderly room's inprocessing checklist to eliminate this finding from your section.

Incompatible material storage
An example of this is flammable materials stored with corrosives. Other common findings are cardboard or other absorbent materials used as shelf liners in flammable storage lockers. Good housekeeping make this necessity needless to say: anything that is leaking should be repaired or replaced immediately.

Containers not properly labeled
Containers must have labels with an accurate description of content. This is particularly important when a substance is not in its original container.

Unauthorized hazardous materials
All hazardous material orders require the Air Force Form 3952, Chemical/Hazardous Material Request/Authorization Form. 

This form is reviewed/approved by Bio-environmental Engineering, Safety, and Environmental to ensure occupational health, safety and environmental areas of concern are identified before a material is used. 

Avoid stockpiling or hording items that are infrequently used. You do not need to maintain 'Just-in-Case' or 'Once-in-a-Blue Moon' items. They can be added on a just-in-time basis. Bio-environmental or the Base HazMat can assist you with locating or interpreting MSDS information.

No material safety data sheet
This identifies the hazards/properties/storage of the material to everyone and lists recommended personnel protective measures (PPE), first aid measures and recommended disposal actions.

Housekeeping
This is a simple measure that's easy to fix. All shops and HAZMAT storage areas in particular need to be clean and free of clutter.
Assessment team members frequently use overall housekeeping to determine how closely to scrutinize a work center. Don't give yours a reason to dig deeper!

Lack of recycling
All recyclable materials need to be in recycling containers or dumpsters. The assessment team will look at your garbage cans and there should not be any recyclables in it. 

There are numerous Executive Orders (e.g. EO 12873) and Air Force Instructions (e.g. AFI 32-7080 chapter 3.4.1) that mandate we recycle as much as possible. If you have a blue recycling container, use it only for recyclable material.

Expired shelf life
All users are required to be responsible and accountable for shelf life inspection on material that has been issued to them. Make this a monthly recurring task, and remind your personnel what to do if they notice expired or soon-to-be expired items on the shelf.

Improper compressed gas management
Proper signs/documentation is visible. Ensure that cylinders are secured to prevent falling and are not tampered with. Adequate ventilation is paramount to success.
Flammable compressed gas cylinders are kept at least 20 feet from flammable liquids, highly combustible materials and oxidizers.

Personal protective equipment
PPE will be stored properly so that it remains reliable and serviceable.

Historically, ESOHCAMP finding root causes are 55 percent management oversight, 42 percent personnel execution and three percent infrastructure. 

That means more than half the typical findings are due to people not following guidelines. This is very preventable by being proactive versus reactive. 

This assessment is intended to help us gauge the way we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. While this gives us a good excuse to do a little "summer cleaning," it should not be a significant deviation from normal practice. 

If we all internalize the rules and apply them to our workspace and homes, we will have very little to do to prepare for the next ESOHCAMP.

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