BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The monthly Task Force Wrangler Safety Council meeting, held Jan. 15, at Army Field Support Battalion Afghanistan, provided a venue for unit representatives to report on safety programs, initiatives, training, successes and challenges. The forum facilitated cross-talk and mutual problem solving.

Council members and chairman Lt. Col. Keith J. McVeigh, the deputy commander of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, were interested in an initiative reported by the battalion’s contracting partner AC First. The program called “Near Miss” is a no-fault, no-blame, way for employees to self-report on their own “near misses” or the “near misses” they observe.

Patrick LeBlanc, a battalion safety specialist, pointed out that many of the contractors come from places where making such reports could lead to the employee being fired and lauded the battalion contract partner for overcoming language and cultural background barriers.

“It was my pleasure to bring our contracting partner to the safety council to highlight their ‘Near Miss’ program and have it considered for inclusion into the overall (Combined Joint Operations Area Afghanistan) safety programs,” said LeBlanc after the meeting. “It could prevent hundreds of accidents.”

McVeigh was impressed and said the idea was “awesome” and talked about ways it could be implemented by some of the units represented at the meeting.

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