While touring Oshkosh Defense April 26, 2017, the 115th Fighter Wing unit safety representatives learned just what it takes to be an OSHA-VPP Star work site.
The primary focus for the visit was safety collaboration as 15 Airmen who are 115th FW USRs learned about the outstanding efforts of Oshkosh Defense, which earned the respected Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program star work site rating. The Airmen took away a number of concepts they hope to integrate into the 115th FW safety program, as they learned more about the employees and business practices of the remarkable safety culture at Oshkosh Defense.
The 115th FW is one of only two VPP sites in the Air National Guard, and the VPP star work site visit to Oshkosh Defense allowed the USRs to see in person how safety is handled at a civilian site.
“I wanted the USRs as the backbone of our safety program, to experience a different safety environment because it’s so important that we learn from exemplary organizations,” said Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Egstad, 115th FW non commissioned officer in charge of wing safety. “Being a USR is an additional duty and they work extremely hard to ensure the 115th FW safety program is successful.”
The VPP promotes effective work site based safety and health. Within the VPP, management, labor and OSHA work together to establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary success in the prevention of occupational safety and health hazards.
“The scale of industry to build these vehicles is amazing, the plant floor is a very busy place,” commented Master Sgt. Matthew Marose, senior controller, 115th FW Maintenance Operations Center. “There’s no doubt safety is a critical pillar to their success.”
“At Oshkosh Defense, we build trucks. It’s what we do. No other original equipment manufacturer has built, delivered, and sustained more medium and heavy tactical wheeled vehicles than Oshkosh,” said retired U.S. Army officer Yancey Williams, director of business development at Oshkosh Defense. “We take great pride in the products that we provide because we know who’s using them and the importance of the missions in which they serve.”
“One of the best parts of the visit was the chance to ride in the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle,” said Egstad. “I know the Airmen really enjoyed this part of the tour.”
“Part of my job is hosting visits like this, and nothing makes me prouder to work for Oshkosh than seeing a uniformed service member hop out of one of our vehicles with a smile on their face,” said Brittany Selner, associate marketing manager at Oshkosh Defense. “Interacting with our customers is so important to us because we get to see and hear the impact that our vehicles continue to make.”