Stay focused on VPP, Safety

  • Published
  • By Col. Lee Pritchard
  • Director, 66th Air Base Wing Safety Office
As Hanscom prepares for the upcoming Unit Compliance Inspection, we are also planning to submit our Voluntary Protection Program application to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Hanscom had its initial VPP assessment in May, 2006 and we are planning to complete the application process in November. 

VPP plays an important role in our preparation for the UCI. With the stress of long hours completing innumerable checklists, it is easy to abandon the safety mindset we need in our workplace. 

A primary focus of UCI inspectors will be the evaluation of workplace safety. As a part of VPP, it is incumbent upon each individual to ensure we are working in a safe environment. 

Trends of recent safety inspections indicate we need to take a closer look at our work areas. Safety discrepancies frequently cited include: daisy chaining extension cords or surge protectors, plugging in appliances to surge protectors and using extension cords in lieu of permanent wiring. 

Additionally, with the onset of cold weather, portable heaters will make an appearance and compete for electrical outlet space. These devices must be plugged directly into the outlet and cannot be within three feet of combustible material. If during your personal safety assessment you have any questions, contact the 66th Air Base Wing Safety Office at 781-377-5135. 

Safety personnel will be conducting spot inspections every workday throughout the month of October to ensure we are in compliance with the safety regulations. During a recent UCI, a unit was graded non-compliant in the safety area. Let's learn from their errors and show the inspectors that Hanscom employees and leaders are committed to a safe and healthful workplace.