MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Every day presents hazards and circumstances that can increase the chances of a mishap. For Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni those hazards are most prevalent around the airfield and harbor. Long working hours, night shifts, and heavy machinery all contribute to increasing the chances of a mishap occurring in the work center.
On Nov. 29, 2021, MCAS Iwakuni’s station safety center kicked off its first local Ground Safety for Marines course.
The two-week, Training and Education Command (TECOM) driven course, increases safety by providing Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) training to military and civilian personnel assigned to full-time or collateral duties in ground safety.
“This course is the first step to enhancing a stronger safety culture at MCAS Iwakuni,” said Dennis Gamad, the course facilitator for the air station. “Leaders, from noncommissioned officers to officers, set the tone for safety in their respective organizations and emphasize its importance.”
The course provides personnel appointed as ground safety managers and officers the basic concepts and techniques for managing unit-level Marine Corps OSH programs. Every command is required to have an appointed ground safety manager or officer, and at a minimum they are required to complete the GSM course within 90 days of appointment. The OSH programs covered in the course include safety topics such as industrial hygiene, workplace hazard recognition, safety assessment, and risk management.
Hosting the course at the air station eliminates the need to send personnel elsewhere for the training, and makes it that much easier to maintain an environment of safety on the installation, Gamad said. To establish the TECOM-funded course at MCAS Iwakuni, a number of resources and collaborated effort from the Station Safety Center leadership and other safety offices, including the Marine Corps Installations Command Safety office which donated $30,000 in funding, were required.
“This course is just one piece,” said Gamad. “Leaders set the tone for safety and need to emphasize the importance of integrating it into their mission”