NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Nellis, Creech and the Nevada Test and Training Range completed an external Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Assessment and Management Program inspection that ran Sept.17 to 21.
ESOHCAMP is a management tool used to assist base leadership in managing their environmental, safety and occupational health programs more effectively by helping to identify and correct deficiencies before they result in violations.
“While we are still awaiting the official report, the ESOHCAMP evaluators indicated that after a ‘very thorough scrub’ of the installation, the Nellis/Creech/NTTR team achieved the maximum score of 100 in each of the three major programs: Environment, Ground Safety, and Occupational Health,” said Col. Darren Bishop, 99th Mission Support Group commander. “Furthermore, half of the environmental items evaluated, four of eight, were scored as ‘model programs’ far exceeding regulatory compliance.”
The ESOHCAMP team will publish a report that will contain all observations, including findings that were immediately corrected. Environmental corrective actions, as developed by the assessment team to correct deficiencies, will emphasize pollution prevention as the preferred method to achieve compliance.
The ESOHCAMP program relies on both internal and external evaluations. Internal evaluations are the foundation of an ESOHCAMP and are normally conducted by installation people annually, except during years when external evaluations are conducted, according to Air Force Instruction 90-201, Air Force Inspection System.
Air Combat Command conducts external evaluations at least once every three years, and the inspection teams are usually composed of Airmen from the headquarter’s staff and from other bases with some specialized support from contractors.
Twenty-six Nellis and Creech organizations are assessed on an annual basis in accordance with AFI 90-803, ESOHCASMP, mandated Tier Two annual assessments for all host and tenant organizations with an Environmental Management System, or EMS, aspect and impact. Currently 190 ESOHCAMP Tier One Quarterly Shop Self-Assessment checklists are conducted by work centers on the base and range. This last external ESOHCAMP inspection, or Tier Three, was the last one to be conducted by the ACC Environmental staff.
Starting in fiscal year 2013, the ACC Inspector General team will pick up the external ESOHCAMP inspection requirements. Under AFI 90-201, the, “tier” will be changed to, “stage” for the three levels of ESOHCAMP. There are two types of inspections on which a Stage three ESOHCAMP can occur: the Phase Zero compliance inspection and a Phase One or Phase Two Readiness Inspection, which alternates every two years.
The compliance assessment consists of record searches, interviews and evaluations of various work centers. Deficiencies are written up as findings, and then the team must prepare root cause analysis and management action plans for the findings.
The ESOHCAMP team will provide constructive feedback to applicable work centers so all findings can be corrected as soon as possible. Additionally, the team will identify best management practices and will recognize units with excellent compliance programs.
As with most compliance assessments, there are several keys to a successful internal and external ESOHCAMP.
First, units need to review previous internal and external inspection reports. During this review, units need to ensure previous inspection write-ups remain closed.
Next, units should review the latest inspection reports from other installations to see inspections trends and focus areas.
Finally, units need to focus on their most vulnerable areas, as determined from current regulatory climates.
“These superb results are a tribute to outstanding teamwork, from unit environmental coordinators and safety (noncomissioned officers) in squadrons, to Airmen who comply with standards in their daily tasks, to program managers in civil engineering, ground safety, and the medical group who help monitor and assist with compliance,” Bishop said. “This is truly a Nellis/Creech/NTTR team accomplishment and everyone should be very proud of this achievement.