MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NORTH CAROLINA --
The Manpower directorate was recognized as the first to achieve the Silver status under the Voluntary Protection Program here, May 12.
VPP is a program designed by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration to empower employees to take charge and manage their own safety and health within the work environment.
Each of Cherry Point’s six directorates will advance through the Bronze, Silver and Gold recognition levels as they reach specific achievements within the program. The Manpower directorate is responsible for several sections under VPP. Responsibility for VPP implementation within those sections is the responsibility of each employee. Collectively, there has been a tremendous amount of effort put forth to reach this point.
According to Maj. Naim Al-Qaadir, deputy director of Manpower, the Silver VPP status is a testament of employee commitment to workplace safety.
“At the Silver level, employees are running the whole program,” said Al-Qaadir. “They are asking questions, coming up with creative ideas based on prior experiences and constantly looking for new ways to make safety training meaningful and informative.”
According to Al-Qaadir, the focus and emphasis on safety will not stop with the Silver attainment.
“I am extremely proud of what we as a team have accomplished,” said Al-Qaadir. “As a directorate, we have room for improvement and will continue to challenge ourselves to make VPP better. We have moved beyond employee awareness to employee ownership, and I believe that to be the single greatest contributor to our expedited success. We actively challenge every employee to get involved as we strive for gold.”
According to Scott Davis, a safety specialist with the Safety office, the requirements for achieving the Silver Star level include a variety of measures that prove a directorate’s implementation of VPP.
“The silver builds upon the bronze, ensuring employees are actively involved in the program,” said Davis. “The empowerment and the buy-in that employees feel has greatly increased the morale and decreased mishaps across the air station.”