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Playing it safe

Prioritizing safety, mission readiness on Holloman

Staff Sgt. Clement Bouloiseau, 49th Wing Safety and Occupational Health specialist, goes through a safety inspection binder with Senior Airman Theodore Warren, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron unit deployment manager, Aug. 14, 2019, on Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Safety and Health Occupations specialists perform annual facility inspections for various units on base and some Air Force units on Fort Bliss, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quion Lowe)

Prioritizing safety, mission readiness on Holloman

Staff Sgt. Clement Bouloiseau, 49th Wing Safety and Occupational Health specialist notes safety improvements that can be made during an inspection, Aug. 14, 2019, on Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Safety and Health Occupations specialists perform annual facility inspections for various units on base and some Air Force units on Fort Bliss, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quion Lowe)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Aug. 12-18 is Safe and Sound week, a week created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promote improving safety nationwide.

For the 49th Wing Safety Office, this is business as usual. On a regular basis, the attention to detail the safety personnel displays ensures the mission is achieved correctly.

“The safety mission is very simple,” said Ivan Vallejo, 49 WG Safety and Occupational Health specialist. “We keep personnel safe and the equipment intact.”

Stressing that Holloman’s mission is always a priority, the base safety team is responsible for ensuring safety and the mission are equally prioritized.

In order to improve the safety of the mission, the specialists have a wide variety of duties to perform, including identifying safety hazards and applying risk management to processes in certain shops or offices.

 “I believe that safety should be worked from bottom to top and top to bottom,” said Vallejo. “Your lowest ranking Airmen are the ones who are going to be doing the job. They are the ones that can identify safety hazards and report them up the chain of command. Once it gets to the level where it can be changed, it should be reported all the way back down to let them know a change has been accomplished.”

While avoiding safety hazards is everyone’s responsibility and essential to maintaining mission readiness, Holloman’s safety team takes pride in the extra focus they put into the safety of base personnel.

“The fulfilling part is being able to actually implement change and seeing a direct impact,” said Staff Sgt. Clement Bouloiseau, 49 WG Safety and Occupational Health specialist. “It seems like we are always the bad guys, but once you actually start understanding what we are there to do, we are there to consult with and help keep you all safe.”

The positive attitude the safety specialists display goes a long way in assuring the units they provide guidance to, that the team’s intentions are only to help, especially when giving safety corrections.

“We are not there for punitive action and do not want to get people in trouble,” said Bouloiseau. “We try to find recommendations to make workplaces safer.”

For any additional information or safety tips please contact Holloman’s Safety Office at 575-572-3793