Supervisor Safety - Know Your Role!

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Googe
  • 908th Airlift Wing
If you are a supervisor, you've been around long enough to know our Wingman culture centers around taking care of the Air Force's number one resource: its people.

As a supervisor, knowing your role for providing a safe and healthful workplace is essential in taking care of those assigned to you.

To do this, you must first understand the safety and health standards that apply to your work area operations. These requirements are outlined in AFI 91-203, Air Force Consolidated Occupational Safety Instruction, AFI 91-202, The US Air Force Mishap Prevention Program, and applicable Technical Orders (TOs) specific to the job.

With this understanding, you will be better equipped in fulfilling your responsibilities in recognizing, reporting, and eliminating safety and health hazards for your people.
You might be asking, "What do you mean when you say recognize safety and health hazards?"

Recognizing safety and health hazards involves reviewing job tasks, creating a Job Safety Training Outline (JSTO), providing initial and reoccurring training for your Airmen, exercising control over job tasks, and conducting routine spot inspections in the workplace.

 JSTO - As a supervisor, you've done the job, so reviewing job tasks and responsibilities should be easy. Think about the tasks required to do the job then use your risk management techniques to identify what could go wrong and how to eliminate or control these risks. With this information, you will be well on your way to creating and documenting a job specific JSTO. The JSTO is essentially a lesson plan for training your people on the hazards associated with the job and how to protect themselves.

 Training - Once the JSTO is in place, you're ready to provide required job safety training to your people. Good training is a key to reducing and eliminating safety and health risks on the job and controlling hazards. Be sure everyone assigned receives training annually and whenever equipment, procedures, or the work environment changes.

 Exercising Control Over Job Tasks - With your Airmen trained, it's important to hold them accountable in following all precautions and safety measures presented in training, which includes the proper use of required personal protective equipment.

 Spot Inspections - Another element to recognizing safety and health hazards is conducting routine safety spot inspections of the work area. Supervisors are required to do these inspections on a monthly basis, document the results and correct any findings. Notify the Safety Office of serious hazards which cannot be corrected on the spot so an AF Form 1118, Notice of Hazard, can be documented and posted in the workplace.

Next is reporting safety and health hazards. How do you do this? If any of your Airmen are involved in an accident or mishap while on or off-duty, as a supervisor, you are responsible to report this information by submitting an AF Form 978, "Supervisor's Mishap Report" within two duty days of the mishap.

Submissions may be emailed, faxed or hand carried to the Wing Safety Office.
The main mission of Wing Safety is mishap prevention. The information you provide is used to track what's gone wrong and how it can be prevented in the future. Your report is essential in protecting your people.

If you do your part in recognizing and reporting up front, you will be well on your way to eliminating safety and health hazards on the job and ultimately taking care of your people the Wingman way!

The 908th Wing Safety SharePoint site is an excellent tool for all your safety needs!