FORT LEONARD WOOD – Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration presented the Chemical Defense Training Facility with the Voluntary Protection Program Star Flag and a plaque for meeting the office’s highest standard for workplace safety.

“Obtaining the VPP star distinguishes the CDTF in a couple of facets,” said Gregory Wolf, CDTF deputy director and surety coordinator. “It shows our customers that what we do here has been recognized by OSHA as one of the safest processes.”

“Achieving the star is one step to show others in the private industry that what we do in the military meets the same civilian standard,” he added. “Overall, (it’s) to show that we protect the worker and care about the safety of each and every Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine that we put through this training facility.”

The CDTF implemented a continuous improvement safety and health management system model that focused on four elements: management commitment and worker involvement, hazard prevention and control, safety and health training and worksite analysis.

The facility conducts Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear defense training in a toxic agent environment for Army, joint and allied service members to enhance individual and collective proficiency and confidence in themselves and their equipment.

The CDTF is the only organization within U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command to receive the distinction.

According to the Department of Labor’s website, the Voluntary Protection Programs recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies that have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.

Karena Lorek, OSHA Region 7 area director from Kansas City, toured the facility before attending the ceremony.

“I want to let you know that we hold this facility, you all, in the highest regard,” she said. “You guys are the only military facility in our four-state region to achieve this high honor.”

She commended those working at the CDTF for achieving the certification but challenged the facility to maintain it through continued safe practices.

“It’s one thing to achieve it, but it’s another thing to maintain it,” Lorek said. “So, that is my challenge to you guys — to continue your commitment to safety and health and to achieve the recertification every five years.”