USAMRICD awarded Army SOH Star Flag
On June 30, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, received the prestigious Army Safety and Occupational Health Star Award, recognizing the Institute's successful implementation of the Army SOH Management System.
During a ceremony in the lobby of the Institute's new building, the SOH Star flag was presented to USAMRICD Commander Col. Roman Bilynsky by Maj. Gen. Brian Lein, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
The USAMRICD is the first CONUS unit within USAMRMC, as well as the first U.S. Army Center of Excellence, to achieve Army SOH Star status.
Lein congratulated the staff on their achievement of becoming a "high reliability" organization in only two years, something, he said, many organizations are never able to fully realize.
The Army SOH Management System is based on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Voluntary Protection Program. To achieve Star status the USAMRICD had to complete 243 performance-based tasks, spread across three phases, in four subject areas: management leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control and safety and health training.
The institute not only met but exceeded the standards in all areas of the SOH Management System. As a result of implementing the program, the USAMRICD is 36 percent below the national benchmark for all injuries and twelve percent below the industry benchmark for injuries resulting in lost time or transfer.
Lein also cautioned the staff about the inherent risks of moving from a facility with which they are familiar and comfortable into a new building where everything is new and different.
"So this is actually your biggest challenge," said Lein. "Taking the concepts and the tenants of what you learned from getting yourself to that Star status and not allowing complacency to set in, but actually using those tools that got you to where you are now to have a completely safe transition into this new buildingâ€¦and taking the Army Star status and pushing it even further ahead of where you are today."
Lein then challenged the staff to celebrate, in one year's time, the rededication of the Star flag presentation without having a single lost day of work or a single accident during their transition to the new facility.
Additionally, during the ceremony, Bilynsky commemorated the thirty-fourth anniversary of the organization's redesignation as the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, which officially took place on June 30, 1981. Previous to that, the organization was known as the U.S. Army Biomedical Laboratory.
Bilynsky briefly described the history of the USAMRICD and then presented numbered Commander's coins to employees Sharon Cullum, number 39, and Dr. Tony Shih, number 37, whose years of service with the organization began prior to the redesignation.