Maintaining work mishaps; 97 MXG wins OSHA award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kari Degraffenreed
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Representatives from the 97th Maintenance Group at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, accepted the Star Among Stars Award at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Region Six Voluntary Protection Program Association conference in San Antonio, Texas, May 25, 2022.

The award recognizes Volunteer Protection Program sites that have gone above and beyond to prevent and reduce workplace mishaps in a calendar year. In order to qualify, worksites must have injury rates 50% or lower beneath the industry average for that year.

Tyara Jones, 97th MXG environmental protection assistant and VPP member, explained the VPP is an OSHA driven program which consists of three members, who operate a cooperative workplace relationship with OSHA management and employees to provide a safe, strong and effective safety and health culture at Altus Air Force Base.

“We like to protect all our resources,” said Gregory Miller, 97th MXG environmental protection specialist and VPP member. “Including our most valuable resources, which are our human resources.”

A star is the highest accreditation level a worksite can receive in the program, and the 97th MXG was recently recertified as a VPP star site by OSHA in August of 2021, for the third time in a decade. The 97th MXG remains the only VPP star worksite in the air education and training community.

“In 2021, the 97th MXG was well below the 50% required for the award,” Miller said. “This marked the first time the maintenance group had received this honor since 2018.”

Members from the 97th MXG’s VPP explain they are very proud of the accomplishments of those in the group.

“To win this award is a very distinguished acknowledgement, especially as we are already a VPP star site recertified again in August of last year,” said Miller. “This is just another step in our continuous process of improvement.”