Marines

Photo Information

Supervisors receive annual Back in the Saddle training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Jan. 10. The training was made mandatory for civilians in 2013 in an attempt to greatly reduce the number of mishaps and work-related accidents aboard the base.

Photo by courtesy photo

Hurt back, broken bones less likely after this year’s BITS training

23 Jan 2013 | Lance Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Training, no matter what the topic, can sometimes feel useless and monotonous, but more often than not it has an important purpose.

Back in the saddle training for civilians aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is one of those purposeful training requirements and for the first time ever it has been made mandatory.

BITS is a two-tier program is used to educate and train supervisors, but also support and re-enforce the mishap reduction program.

Ron Sarmento, deputy director of safety for Marine Corps Installations – East, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, commented on the BITS training, stating roughly 15 objectives over a two and half to three hour period are used to help deliver a more direct and interactive way to train the supervisors.

“We’ve received nothing but positive feedback. There was a lot of information they weren’t aware of prior to the training but afterwards they were very knowledgeable,” said Sarmento. “It wasn’t mandatory in the past but since we had a low attendance rate and higher average mishap rate, we spoke to the deputy commander and the chief of staff and decided we need people in the seats.”

Navy Capt. John Carson, the Public Works Officer, who received the supervisors training, added more structure was used this year and allowed the supervisors to discuss the various safety programs they used and how to manage mishaps.

“Because of the nature of our business, I tend to have workers in the field who have more hazards than standard desk jobs,” said Carson. “Our focus is to change the culture and make safety first and foremost in everyone’s mind so they think about what they’re doing before they act.”

When the supervisors receive BITS training, it can take some time to trickle down to subordinates so non-supervisor training was also held in order to continue the education.

The non-supervisor training mainly teaches the general-facilities civilians and incorporates three main topics, an introduction to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hazardous material training and ergonomics training, said Corey Myers, occupational safety and health specialist.

“This is the first time we made this mandatory so I think we’re definitely on the right track to reduce mishaps base-wide,” said Myers. “Any training we can do to educate the work force to reduce the possibility of mishaps is good training.”

Whether it’s the supervisor or the subordinate, BITS training is beneficial because it reinforces the reduction of mishaps and implementation of safety measures in all work environments.