309th SMXG reaches for OSHA ‘Star’

U.S. Air Force
Darth Vader and Princess Leia talk VPP facets with 309th Software Maintenance Group employees Mark Midgley left, and Kyle Westwood. The 309th SMXG VPP team conducts monthly, themed walkthroughs of its facilities. In February, Steven Roberts wore the Darth Vader costume while Nicole Taggart dressed as Princess Leia.
By YVONNE COMESARIO
309th Software Maintenance Group
February 16, 2017

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The Ogden Air Logistics Complex’s 309th Software Maintenance Group provides unique and valuable software and hardware engineering support to the warfighter mission. As such, people truly are the organization’s most valuable asset. Keeping them safe and healthy, both at work and at home, is a top priority and provides value to the operation. 

Kelly Capener, 309th SMXG director, along with his leadership team, emphasizes accountability at all organizational levels and employee involvement focused on driving significantly improved safety performance. 

The Voluntary Protection Program provides the focus to develop a best-in-class health and safety program, and provides a roadmap for continuous process improvement. For 2017, 309th SMXG is marching toward OSHA Star certification. The program is designed for exemplary worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems. While striving to reach this goal, 309th SMXG has provided opportunities for everyone in the group to participate and understand the elements encompassed within the program to ensure success is achieved within the work environment.

The 309th SMXG has over 1,500 personnel assigned with units located in 11 facilities here. The VPP team, led by 309th SMXG Deputy Director Tracy Stauder and Program Manager Yvonne Comesario, conduct bi-weekly walkthroughs within these facilities, disseminating essential VPP information. With these walkthroughs, the team has conducted face-to-face interviews with over 25 percent of the group’s population. 

“Our VPP walkthroughs have been very beneficial. I get to see first-hand our units VPP commitment and personally encourage and thank our employees for their continued VPP mission and support,” said Stauder. 

The VPP team works diligently to engage and invigorate the workforce and make them excited about VPP facets and implementation of these facets. During December 2016, the team dressed as elves and reindeer while delivering various VPP messages. For January 2017, individuals were met by an astronaut who expressed the importance of safety and continuing the VPP message. For February 2017, the team found Darth Vader and Princess Leia delivering treats and VPP notes. Additionally, passports have been created, which provide additional VPP fundamentals. 

Good luck to 309th SMXG as they “Reach for the Star!”

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