Fort McCoy News April 26, 2013

Safety Council addresses workplace issues

Public Affairs Staff

The Fort McCoy Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council/Community Health Promotion Council held its spring meeting April 9.

Deb Heise-Clark, Installation Safety Office (ISO) safety specialist, discussed safety concerns that had been submitted to the ISO and presented information on workstation lighting.

McCoy personnel had inquired about information regarding sharps containers for medical items, Heise-Clark said. Employers are not required to provide sharps containers but employees are strongly encouraged to use personal containers for disposing of items such as insulin syringes.

Personnel experiencing headaches due to excessive brightness also contacted the ISO.

Heise-Clark said general guidelines for workstation lighting include placing workstations at right angles to windows; eliminating reflective materials near computer monitors; and spacing stations between rows of overhead lights if possible. If light bulbs need to be disconnected it's best to disconnect the middle lights, she said.

Personnel who work in cubicles should avoid using bin lighting directly behind computers, Heise-Clark said. Task lighting that has a flexible neck and adjustable head is recommended for cubicles.

Ideally, windows should have adjustable blinds or drapes, and light fixtures should have diffusers.

Heise-Clark said personnel can contact Wendy Whitney, energy conservation assistant for the Directorate of Public Works, to take readings of lighting in office areas and make further recommendations.


Basic Safety training will be offered May 16 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in building 2113. The course provides an overview of the responsibilities of supervisors and Collateral Duty Safety representatives with a focus on administrative/office safety. To register, call 608-388-6450 by May 9.

The ISO can provide training on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The mandatory training can be offered to garrison and tenant personnel who work with hazardous materials. The ISO cannot train contractor organizations but can provide a PowerPoint presentation.

Ammunition, explosives

Don Vender, ISO safety specialist, presented information about explosives safety.

He said the cardinal rule of unexploded ordnance (UXO) safety is to conduct operations so the minimum number of people are exposed to the minimum amount of explosives for the minimum period of time.

If UXO is found at Fort McCoy personnel should cease operations, withdraw personnel from the area and notify supervisors.
Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott said people should be aware of UXO even in the cantonment area and South Post, which was the original artillery training area.

For UXO found in training areas, call the Range Fire Desk at 608-388-4848; in the cantonment area call the Directorate of Emergency Services at 608-388-2000.

Smoking is prohibited within 50 feet of any ammunitions and explosives. Designated smoking areas may be established but must include a portable fire extinguisher and suitable receptacles for smoking materials. Personnel working with hazardous materials must wash their hands before smoking.

Vender said ammunition and explosives are not authorized to be stored in the cantonment area unless approved and licensed by the ISO.

Additional topics

• New hours at the Ammunition Supply Point are Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Motorcycle operators should review personal protective equipment requirements before operating their motorcycles. The requirements are located in Fort McCoy Regulation 385-10.

• The Child, Youth and School Services reminds personnel at Fort McCoy that at no time will a child younger than 10 be left unattended in a vehicle, and at no time will a child younger than 16 be left unattended in a vehicle that has the keys in the ignition and/or with the engine running.

• The Challenge Academy asks motorists to slow down and watch for cadets walking in the 600- and 700 blocks of the installation.

• With warmer weather approaching, motorists should be aware of cyclists on post roads. Cyclists also must wear personal protective equipment, which is outlined in Fort McCoy Regulation 385-10.

Staff Sgt. Charles Abert, the additional duty safety officer for the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy, received a safety award for his efforts in accomplishing zero deficiencies during a safety inspection of the academy. Nott said the zero deficiency accomplishment is rare.

Nott concluded the meeting by advising motorists to drive with caution at the railroad crossing on Quarry Hill Road because it does not have crossing arms or signals.

He also said personnel on post should be aware that the training population will be fluid this year.

Although some units have cancelled, other units are seeking a place to train. The training surge is expected to begin earlier and to last longer this year, he said.

For more information about Fort McCoy safety, contact the ISO at 608-388-3403, or contact your organization's collateral/additional duty safety officer. The next Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council/Community Health Promotion Council meeting is Tuesday, July 9.