Department of the Air Force sweeps DoD SOHMS Achievement Awards Published Oct. 19, 2023 Air Force Safety Center Public Affairs ORLANDO, Fla. -- On Sept. 18, 2023, at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants Association Safety+ Conference, the 8th Annual Department of Defense Safety and Occupational Health Management System (SOHMS) Awards, presented the 97th Maintenance Group at Altus Air Force Base, as the winner of the organization award, and Mr. Sean Johnson from the 402d Electronics Maintenance Group at Robins Air Force Base, the winner of the individual award. The SOHMS achievement awards recognize DoD organizations and individuals that perform outstanding work in the areas of safety and occupational health management systems implementation and mishap prevention. “The 97th Maintenance Group and Mr. Johnson exemplify the Secretary of Defense’s ‘Taking Care of Our People’ priority,” praised Laura Macaluso, Director Force Safety and Occupational Health. “I commend them for outstanding efforts to ensure safe workplaces, develop and implement valued safety programs, and institute a robust safety culture.” The 97th MXB at Altus AFB, Okla., maintains 43 aircraft and still preserves rate of occupational injury and illness 50% below industry average. This could be attributed to their increased employment Voluntary Protection Program Safety involvement by 430% in 2022 and multiple overlapping processes to routinely analyze worksites for hazards, including a Time-Out and Knock-it Off program where any employee can address "imminent danger" situations. Additionally, the 97th MXB has provided OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour trainings to over 240 personnel over a three-year period and were awarded the OSHA Region VI VPP Star Among Stars Award. “The 97th Maintenance Group and its employees are honored to receive the DoD Safety and Occupational Health Management System Award,” admired Kelly Bailey, Director of 97 MXG. “The organization and its personnel have embraced the transformation of “simply following the safety rules” to build an enduring culture of personal ownership for safety at all levels.” Sean Johnson and his team at the 402d Electronics Maintenance Group at Robins AFB, Ga., attended approximately 70 workshops hosted by the DoD and Air Force Sustainment Center to gain essential VPP guidance, which led to the education of over 800 personnel at their installation. Additionally, Johnson was part of a team which help report 38 different hazards to the safety office through the Hazard Reporting tool, conducted 95 office and industrial assessments through 402 EMXG, and provided health screenings and wellness virtual and in-person courses to numerous employees. “We are so very proud of Sean and all his accomplishments. This award is a reflection of Sean’s commitment to safety throughout his stellar career with the Air Force,” commended Jesse Scott Edge, Director of 402 EMXG. “Sean will be the first to tell you that this type of award is only made possible through the work of a strong team, but I contend that it is Sean’s leadership that pushes all teams he is part of to a higher level.” Congratulations to the award winners and their teams. We cannot wait to see what you accomplish in the next year!