Bioenvironmental; keeping the mission active

  • Published
  • 4OMRS

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C.—The 4th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron bioenvironmental engineering flight is an integral part of the 4th Fighter Wing mission, ensuring every unit and organization has a healthy and safe workplace.

“The purpose of bioenvironmental is to try and keep active duty service members out of the clinic,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Adams, NCO in charge bioenvironmental engineering flight. “We do that by evaluating the hazards of all the workplaces on base from security forces to crew chiefs,” said Adams.

The team of 11 composed of two officers and nine enlisted Airmen, apply a proactive approach and eliminate potential issues by conducting numerous tests weekly. Their main focus is preventative medicine, which includes stopping any kind of sickness from occuring by making sure everyone is following proper practices and procedures in the workplace.

“ We recommend protective controls such as gloves, hearing protection, ventilation systems and respiratory protection in an effort to ensure Airmen and civilians working on base are safe,” said Adams. “This process reduces the number of patients the clinic sees and also protects the long term health of the force.”

To help accomplish this, the technicians use special equipment to ensure safe working conditions in each shop. They also have specific programs such as the respiratory protection program or the ventilation program to determine certain work conditions.

“A significant portion of our day revolves around data management using a Department of Defense wide tracking system called DOEHRS (Defense Occupational Environmental Health Reporting System),” said Adams. “ This database is used to compile the exposure history of Airmen regardless of assignment and can assist the veteran affairs when dealing with compensation claims.”

The bioenvironmental engineering flight categorizes work centers into three numerical categories and performs special surveillance for immediate health threats. The category of the shop is determined by how many hazards it contains, which dictates how often it must be evaluated.

“We monitor 88 work centers, nine of which are evaluated every year,” added Adams. “ We do shop inspections at the beginning of each month, then spend the remainder of the time documenting potential exposures and evaluating new ones or re-evaluating the more hazardous processes to ensure our recommendations are still current.''

By providing operational health risk assessment expertise and ensuring the health and safety of Team Seymour, the 4th OMRS bioenvironmental engineering flight assists personnel in maintaining individual medical readiness, allowing the 4th Fighter Wing to provide combat ready Airmen and airpower to meet any challenge, anytime, anywhere.