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OSHA Challenge Program Success Story
L&M Technologies, LLC Logistics Contract
NASA – Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058


Background

L&M Technologies is the Prime Contractor for the NASA Johnson Space Center's (JSC) Logistics Operations Contract in Houston, TX; a position they have held since March 1, 2008. As such, the L&M Logistics Team supports JSC in the areas of: Shipping Outbound Freight (to such destinations as the International Space Station and Mars), Receiving Inbound Freight, and Fleet Vehicle Operations. Other areas where the L&M Logistics Team supports JSC operations includes: Loadmasters for the Super Guppy Transport Aircraft, NASA Property and Supply Operations, furniture and workstation set-up, repair, and assembly, and Bonded and Temporary Storage, Spaceflight Artifact Processing, and Compressed Gas Cylinder Purchasing and Storage.

As an embedded contractor at JSC, the L&M Logistics Team is required to demonstrate and maintain VPP Compliance. This is due to JSC's certification as an OSHA VPP Star Site (which it has been since 1998). In order to verify the contractual requirement, JSC's Safety and Test Operations Division; supported by JSC civil servant and contractor VPP SGEs, conducted a VPP Compliance Assessment on January 8, 2009. The assessment was patterned after OSHA's VPP Site Assessment.

At the final out brief, JSC's VPP Compliance Assessment Team reported that the L&M Technologies' Logistics Contract Team "has demonstrated VPP Compliance per contractual requirements and has successfully changed the pre-existing culture regarding Safety". The positive assessment and a VPP Star certification at another site prompted L&M's Corporate Management to pursue Star certification at JSC. With the encouragement and assistance of JSC's Elmer (Bubba) Johnson (who is also Region VI VPPPA Chairman), JSC's SGEs Sandy Griffin, Connie Pritchard, Supricia Franklin, and the College of the Mainland's Gulf Coast Safety Institute (GCSI) Director – Cindy Lewis, the L&M Logistics Team entered the OSHA Challenge Pilot Program on November 18, 2009.

Over the course of the next six years, life happened. The L&M Logistics Team experienced significant program upheavals: three Program Managers, two Safety Managers, and multiple operational management changes. Through it all; however, the Team held fast to the OSHA Challenge Program's precepts. The foundation and guidance outlined in the OSHA Challenge tracking forms and the OSHA Challenge Program's annual reports were emphasized through the invaluable support from JSC's Safety Team and Cindy Lewis at the GCSI. Collectively, they kept Safety and OSHA Challenge on L&M's radar screen which culminated in L&M's graduation from OSHA Challenge on October 28, 2015!

During 2016, the L&M Logistics Team was determined to carry forward the momentum gained by graduating from the OSHA Challenge Program, and vigorously pursued the VPP Star. The Team quickly transitioned their focus from OSHA Challenge to Star, tweaking their Safety Management System accordingly. Following a series of All-Hands, Toolbox, and Site Assessment Preparation meetings, New Employee orientations (for permanent hires and temporary contractors), and mock Formal Interviews conducted by SGEs at JSC, L&M's VPP Team was confident they were ready for OSHA's Site Assessment. On April 29, 2016 the Team submitted their first ever VPP Application to the OSHA South Houston Area VPP Coordinator. The application was accepted, and the site assessment was initially scheduled for May. The Area VPP Coordinator had some schedule changes, and L&M's site assessment was rescheduled for September 28 – 30.

After 2½ days of formal and informal employee interviews, a comprehensive documentation review, and thorough site walks, the VPP Approval Team had zero 90-day findings and stated they were recommending the L&M Logistics Team at Johnson Space Center for their first ever VPP Star Certification! Region VI concurred with the Approval Team's recommendation, and on February 1, 2017 OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Dorothy Dougherty signed the letter stating that L&M Technologies at NASA-Johnson Space Center had been approved as a VPP Star site!

Success Impact

Improvements experienced using techniques and processes learned through VPP conferences, OSHA Challenge Coordinator meetings, and sharing Best Practices include:

  • Reduced the number of forklift-related incidents from 10 to Zero by:
    • Toolbox Safety Meetings (forklift safety was a mandatory topic at least quarterly in forklift areas)
    • Semi-annual Forklift JHA refresher training
    • Shortening period between forklift recertification from 3 years to 2
    • Implementing Forklift Safety Stand Down highlighting forklift operator practical skills exam/demonstration.
  • Reduced the TCIR from 5.12 to 1.29 by emphasizing:
    • Situational awareness
    • Hazard recognition and reporting
    • Management Leadership and Employee Involvement
  • Received a Safety Excellence Award every year of the contract (2008 – 2016) from JSC's Contractor Safety Forum
  • Achieved Safety Innovation Awards in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015 for developing and implementing innovative ways to enhance safety performance and increase employee involvement.
Conclusion

Success was long in coming with many ups and downs experienced along the way, but the L&M Logistics Team's desire is that our story be an inspiration to others. When life happens as it surely will, stay the course. The OSHA Challenge Program has been proven to work time and again as long as participants stay committed, stay focused on the road map, and utilize the resources that are readily available.

Challenge Participant: L&M Technologies at Johnson Space Center

Challenge Administrators: Gulf Coast Safety Institute, College of the Mainland

Approved to Participate in OSHA Challenge: November 18, 2009

Graduated OSHA Challenge: October 28, 2015

VPP Approval Date: May 2, 2016

VPP Site Assessment Dates: September 28 – 30, 2016

VPP Star Certification Approved: February 1, 2017

Workers: Average 90

Industry (NAICS Code): General Warehousing and Storage (NAICS Code 493110)

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