MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- The station Branch Medical Clinic received a new industrial hygienist March 27.
Robert Warling was hired after a four-month vacancy.
He will work with the Department of Safety and Standardization personnel here, said Lt. Col. Joachim Fack, DSS supervisor. It will enable the DSS staff to achieve a better understanding of proper safety procedures, and at the same time, give Warling a better understanding of the safety operations that are conducted here, he added.
Warling said his job as an industrial hygienist is to prevent unsafe levels of chemical, physical and biological stressors and to ensure every person working on station experiences a better quality of life by being as safe as possible.
Warling said he will be able to accomplish this by accompanying DSS personnel on their inspections and walk-throughs of the units and other organizations on the air station.
The role of an industrial hygienist is to provide suggestions to improve all-around safety and that is something the station could always use, said Fack.
Working with DSS will save a lot of time and resources for the station, said Warling. The units or places inspected will get the best strategies for safety improvement having both the industrial hygiene perspective and DSS perspectives. The combined inspections will also save the station time because Warling and the DSS personnel will only have to go through the process once per visit instead of conducting separate inspections back-to-back or at different times throughout the day or week, he added.
It is important for the personnel on station to see this position as a resource to help improve life for everybody, said Warling.
Since the station takes on 80 to 85 percent of the Marine Corps’ aviation training hosting the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course and Exercise Desert Talon, andcontinues to take on more of the ground training, it is imperative to uphold the strictest standards of safety, said Fack.
The best way to follow and uphold these standards is to use common sense when it comes to the work environment, said Warling. Always wear the proper safety equipment required for the job and follow directions or orders provided by equipment labels or senior Marines.
Warling said staff noncommissioned officers play a large role in industrial hygiene because of their influence with younger Marines, which is why he wants to get involved with them.
People should not be afraid to develop new ideas or bring suggestions to their NCOs or SNCOs to improve safety, he added.
It is a team effort and one the station is ready to take on, said Fack.
This station has great leadership who have been very receptive to suggestions and goals for improvement. The entire staff is eager to do things the correct way, which is one of the most effective ways to influence good safety habits, said Warling.
With individuals like Warling, who has decades of experience, the entire station can look forward to improving its safety programs because he is truly committed to bringing all non-military personnel to follow the same standards as the Marines here, said Fack.
Industrial hygiene is synonymous with operational risk management because it is something that should be applied at all times, both in and out of the work place, said Warling.
Like ORM, industrial hygiene has a hierarchy of safety control measures, he added. The first is safety training, such as presentations or hands-on applications. The second is safety equipment, such as proper eye wear; and the third is treatment, which is applying safety knowledge in the work environment.
Through education and guidance, this station will avoid safety mishaps and other situations that might otherwise arise, said Warling. There is a lot of potential here, he added.
“All we have to keep in mind is that we do the right things, at the right times for the right reasons,” said Fack.