Corporate engagement enhances wing safety

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Paul Gorman
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 115th Fighter Wing safety team met with their civilian counterparts from Midwest energy company Alliant Energy at Truax Field Mar. 7.

The meeting was part of an ongoing safety focused partnership between the organizations, already linked by the 2017 induction of Alliant Energy president John Larson as a unit honorary commander.

According to Col. Christopher Green, 115 FW vice commander, the exchange of best practices in safety and operational risk management (ORM) epitomize the value of community partnership.

“We’ve been exercising ORM for so long, that it’s easy to begin thinking that our methods will be good forever,” Green said. “Establishing active relationships with outside agencies allows us to continually re-evaluate our practices through cooperative engagement.”

Chief Master Sgt. Tom Egstad has held the position of 115th FW occupational health manager since November 2002. Under his tenure the unit has been awarded the Maj. Gen. John J. Pesch Flight Safety Award three times, and has maintained a star rating in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Volunteer Protection Program since December 2009.

Despite a constantly evolving career field, his goal has remained the same; to foster a working environment with the lowest possible exposure to potential hazards.

Egstad maintains that the goal could never be achieved through the efforts of his office alone.

“We have nearly forty unit safety representatives that are involved in daily operations, and each receive OSHA prescribed safety training,” Egstad said. “Through strong community partnerships, they are also able to visit outside organizations to view alternate methods of executing risk management.”

Representatives from Alliant Energy included safety manager Ryan Schall, and industrial hygienist David Sherrard. Both are tasked to maintain their organizations number one core value; Live safety. Everyone. Always.

According to Schall there are a number of safety concerns shared by both organizations that provide common ground for the exchange of best practices. Industrial hygiene, lock-out tag-out, fall protection, electrical safety and hearing conservation were among the topics discussed.

The meeting concluded with a tour of several unit work areas requiring enhanced risk management measures. Work center supervisors at each location addressed the specific safety practices used to mitigate potential hazards.

Before departing, Sherrard relayed the tremendous benefits he saw in partnering with the 115th FW.

“There was a lot learned on both sides,” Sherrard said. “We anticipated a good exchange of information coming into today’s meeting, and found that it was even better after the fact.”


For further information about the U.S. Air Force occupational safety program, visit: