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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Safety course sustains secure performance

By Lance Cpl. Michelle S. Mattei | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | October 06, 2010

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Every year millions of Americans suffer injuries and thousands experience deaths due to preventable accidents in the workplace, according to the 2009 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

To help prevent these accidents, the National Safety Council has developed a course titled Supervisor’s Safety Development Program, which provides supervisors an opportunity to incorporate and enhance safety measures in the workplace.

“We're the first Safety Office in the Marine Corps to use this course,” said Chuck Roberts, supervisor, base Safety Center. “I think it has great potential for reducing our accidents on base because it helps recognize hazards in the workplace.”

The goal for those attending SSDP is to acquire the knowledge, leadership skills and methods to apply security as part of their responsibilities, and become the most effective leaders and advocates.

“[SSDP] has 16 instructional modules that can be taught in any order,” explained JoAnn Dankert, safety instructor, NSC. “Each module focuses on critical requirements for safety improvement in the workplace and allows all the students to discuss daily issues as a supervisor.”

The program’s design addresses three aspects of loss control, which are learning how to recognize hazards, learning the acceptable level of risk for department operations, and learning how to control the hazards to prevent injuries, illness, and property damage.

It also includes interrelated but independent instructional modules such as safety management, communication, employee involvement, and hazard communication to apply to the work setting to avoid accidents.

“A key feature of the program requires participants to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills from the training,” said Dankert. “We have to test them so we know they are prepared to implement the skills in the workplace.”

Participants can gauge their understanding by answering self-check questions at the end of each module. Facilitators then evaluate learning and retention using each module’s participant exam and a cumulative course exam.

“It’s important for supervisors, work leaders and unit safety representatives alike to learn about the basic references and resources needed to recognize safety and health rules and regulations within their assigned workplace,” said Roberts.”

The course expands and upgrades previous training programs for supervisors and managers with content incorporating the latest research addressing the practical needs of today’s organizations.

For more information about SSDP, call the base Safety Center at (760) 725-3475.

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