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115th Fighter Wing hosts regional safety meeting

Members of the American Society of Safety Engineers region V posed in front of a 115th Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon in Hangar 406 at Truax Field, Madison, Wis., April 7, 2016. The 115 FW hosted the ASSE’s annual operating committee meeting on base. Each year the meeting is held at a different location, giving members an opportunity to tour various companies and facilities. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode)

Members of the American Society of Safety Engineers region V posed in front of a 115th Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon in Hangar 406 at Truax Field, Madison, Wis., April 7, 2016. The 115 FW hosted the ASSE’s annual operating committee meeting on base. Each year the meeting is held at a different location, giving members an opportunity to tour various companies and facilities. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode)

MADISON, Wis. -- The 115th Fighter Wing hosted the American Society of Safety Engineers region V operating committee meeting on base April 7-8.

Each year the meeting is held at a different location. It gives members an opportunity to tour various companies and facilities, and also learn occupational safety and health administration tips from the safety teams that head-up those organizations.

"Many businesses operate similarly as far as OSHA compliance is concerned, and will do the minimum to meet safety regulations," said Ryan Schall, ASSE vice-president and program chair. "Other businesses stand out and go above and beyond OSHA regulations."

The 115 FW safety team falls under the latter category.

"A facility such as the 115th Fighter Wing demonstrates a strong commitment to safety and dedication to creating the safest work environment possible for its employees," Schall said. "I believe there has been a shift in core values over the past decade, and most companies understand that having a strong safety program is necessary to running a successful business. More and more companies are going above and beyond OSHA compliance and implementing programs to keep their employees safe, regardless of OSHA standards."

Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Egstad, 115 FW non-commissioned officer in-charge of Wing safety and member of the ASSE Badgerland Chapter, makes the organization's safety program a priority at the 115 FW.

"I take pride in our Wing's safety program," Egstad said. "Being a member of a respected organization such as the American Society of Safety Engineers has allowed our program to grow tremendously. Each meeting we attend allows us to not only network with our civilian counterparts, but also gives us a wealth of knowledge we can take back to base and integrate into our programs."

According to Egstad, the team is committed to keeping the 115 FW Airmen and civilians on base as safe as possible.

"It's my team's job to make sure all of the 115th Fighter Wing Airmen stay safe while they accomplish their missions," Egstad said. "Hosting meetings like this on base gives us an opportunity to show the other ASSE members how similar we are. It also allows us to demonstrate the exceptional safety practices our Airmen follow."

By attending the monthly chapter meetings, the 115 FW safety team is able to stay up-to-date on all the latest safety information and programs.

"Our relationship with the ASSE is and will continue to improve the units' safety and health program," Egstad said. "I'm grateful they chose the 115th Fighter Wing as this year's meeting location."
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