Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) retained their Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star status from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following a successful re-evaluation in June.
VPP is a collaboration between employees, labor, management and OSHA designed to recognize and promote effective workplace safety. OSHA’s VPP Star Site certification recognizes those worksites that exhibit comprehensive safety and health management systems.
Organizations in the program traditionally achieve injury and illness rates at or below the national average of their respective industries. The VPP Star certification is OSHA’s highest honor and is designed for exemplary worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems. The VPP’s site-based evaluation report highlighted the command’s three year Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR) and Days Away/Restricted/Transferred Case Incidence Rate (DART) for the period 2013-2015 are 1.0 and 0.6, respectively. The site TCIR is 50 percent below and the DART is 57 percent below the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ industry rates.
“We are extremely proud of our safety culture and performance,” said NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Vincent Martinez. “Our VPP Star status is a reflection of the tremendous commitment to safety and best working practices our command workforce displays in all they do.”
The OSHA team performed a three-day worksite evaluation in June which included a comprehensive inspection of safety programs, work processes, site facilities and interviews with employees. The VPP Evaluation Team conducted approximately 400 formal and 120 informal interviews with upper and middle management, first line supervision, employees including the administrative staff and contractor employees.
The VPP inspection team concluded the facility to be well maintained, all VPP requirements were met and all OSHA standards were appropriately covered. The team found the employee involvement and ownership in safety and health at the NSWC IHEODTD to be excellent and gave the command high marks for creating a culture of sustained safety practices. The command was originally awarded VPP Star Status in 2012.
“Safety is our number one priority here,” said Ashley Johnson, NSWC IHEODTD Technical Director. “Investing in the safety of workers is a full-time responsibility the command takes great pride in. We owe it to one another to ensure we can come to work and go home safely while providing the warfighter the tools to ensure they can win the fight and come home safely, too.”
NSWC IHEODTD is the Department of Defense (DoD) Energetics Center and the DoD EOD Technology Program lead. The command provides energetics and energetic materials research and development, testing and evaluation, and in-service support for warheads, rocket propulsion systems, ordnance, pyrotechnic devices and fuzing for the Navy and the Joint Forces. NSWC IHEODTD is located aboard Naval Support Facility Indian Head, Md.: a 3,500-acre peninsula along the Potomac River and headquarters for a 1,800-person organization with sites in McAlester, Okla.; Ogden, Utah; and Picatinny, N.J.
NSWC IHEODTD – a field activity of the NAVSEA and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Enterprise – is the leader in ordnance, energetics and EOD solutions. The division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats