An EASY BUTTON ™ for safety

  • Published
  • By Col. Tom Schluckebier
  • 66th Air Base Wing commander
I recently logged onto the Electronic Systems Center CenterNet and on the upper left hand side of the home page I saw a new red button labeled, "REPORT HAZARD." 

I was curious so I clicked on the button and found a very short and simple electronic form I could use to report a hazard. That's all. Nothing to print. No passwords. No special information. No training or course I needed to take -- just a really easy and simple way to report a hazard that I may have encountered in my workplace or in travels around Hanscom. 

I was skeptical so I talked to Galen Williams, Hanscom Safety Office director, and he said I was right -- it's really as simple as it looks. 

Like many of you, I have tried to report safety hazards at Air Force bases in the past and frankly, sometimes it was just too hard. There was always a paper form to fill out and sometimes there were two forms -- a special base form as well as an Air Force Form 457. 

Sometimes the form was to be sent directly to the Safety Office, sometimes I needed to give it to my facility manager or unit safety representative, sometimes who I gave the form to depended on what type of hazard I was reporting. And sometimes I was never sure if I successfully reported the hazard because nothing would happen. 

All that is changing now. According to Mr. Williams, much of this change is driven by the Voluntary Protection Program that Hanscom is implementing. Part of the VPP process is the continual identification and elimination of hazards and the active involvement of employees in their own protection. 

In other words, we are all responsible for safety, and the new red button on the CenterNet makes our job as "safety officers" a lot easier. Additionally, once a hazard is reported, I know from personal experience that Mr. Williams and his team of safety professionals will not rest until it is addressed and closed. They truly make the base safer, but they can't do it alone -- we all need to help them. 

Unfortunately, the red button hasn't been used much yet, but I look forward to the day when hazards are reported by multiple people as soon as the hazard is evident. That will mean we are all doing our jobs as VPP supporters and Hanscom will be a safer place because of it. 

So, please get on the Centernet, click that red button and tell us about the safety hazard you've wanted to report. It's easy, it's quick, and it's the right thing to do.