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508th Aircraft Sustainment Wing reaches safety milestone

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The 508th Aircraft Sustainment Wing has gone for more than 1,500 days without any lost-time incidents.

The wing, composed of 750 personnel, has administrative personnel, engineers for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt, and equipment specialists who have all taken safety in their workplace to the next level.

The Ogden Air Logistics Center safety office notified Phil Capizzi, 508th Aircraft Sustainment Wing facility manager, of the excellent safety record held by the organization.

"We didn't receive any awards for it yet," said Mr. Capizzi, "but we were notified by Lt. Col. Rick Palo from the safety office that the wing had a good record."

The wing safety office is spearheaded by Mr. Capizzi. Although he heads the effort, he knows that he can't keep 750 people safe on his own.

Watching out for the wing is not something you can do alone, Mr. Capizzi said. The building managers are always making his job easier. They're very proactive.

"(The 508 ASW's safety program) heightens everyone's awareness of the day to day things that could cause injury, not only in the work place but also in their off duty activities," said Curtis Bitton, simulator information assurance control program manager of the 507th Aircraft Sustainment Squadron. "Our clean safety record clearly reflects the conscious effort and pride that all of the members of this wing exercise on a daily basis, as well as 75th Civil Engineer's prompt service and repair to reported work tickets."

"Safety is not an individual effort," said Mr. Capizzi. "It takes a team. No matter who you are, if you see a safety issue get involved."

Common accidents in the 508 ASW are associated with things like tripping hazards and slippery surfaces. In the maintenance environment, however, there are engineers and equipment specialists who work around a very different set of hazards.

"It remains imperative that all individuals within the wing are cognizant of their surroundings, and any thing that may pose a safety hazard is promptly reported," said Mr. Bitton. "These things can be corrected in a timely manner."

The last accident was a trip incident on a small staircase.

"It's a lot like being an unprepared hiker," said Mr. Capizzi. "There are a lot of little things that can happen. It's the same thing everyday. If you're not aware of the things around you it's possible to get hurt."

Mr. Capizzi recommends a team effort to derail accidents. He is a firm believer that the job can only be accomplished with the end in mind.

"(Achieving such a clean safety record) is part of a team effort," Mr. Capizzi said. "We are all moving toward a common goal, not just myself or the commander. We can stay safe if everyone is proactive and abides by the wingman concept to watch out for one another.

"There are lots of factors, and tons of people involved," Mr. Capizzi continued. "All throughout the wing we're watching out for one another."