Preventative maintenance is not just for aircraft

  • Published
  • 507th ARW Equal Opportunity Office

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Preventative maintenance is defined as maintenance that is regularly performed on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of it failing. Preventative maintenance is performed while the equipment is still working to ensure that is doesn’t break down unexpectedly.

As a wing, we are doing a great job when it comes to adhering to DOD, AF and wing EO policies. However, we need to use a preventative approach in order to keep things going in the right direction so we can continue not to break down as the definition above states. Our world, country and our military are currently going through workplace challenges. Just turn on the news or read a newspaper. Things that were once accepted, hushed or accepted as the “The way we’ve always done it” or “The norm” are changing. Not sure what I’m talking about? I’ll be blunt: Inappropriate behavior and discrimination in the workplace (even off duty for that matter) is not tolerated. 

It is unlawful to discriminate against, harass, intimidate or threaten on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information or reprisal.

Read these protected categories again. Do you fall into one? If you don’t, you could one day in your career and you will not want to be discriminated against.

Over the years, I have trained people who say that some inappropriate comments or behaviors in the workplace are just part of the culture or offer the excuse that, “Since we work hard, we need to play hard and let off steam.” While I agree with aspects of the comments, if culture allows for breaking law or policy, then the culture must be broken.

If your job is maintaining or flying planes, handling medical or personnel records, managing supplies or equipment, then you understand the necessity for following Air Force Instructions and technical orders. Adhering to non-discrimination policies is no different. They are laws that were established to protect us all.

In the EO office we help protect employees from discrimination and prevent employers and co-workers from discriminating against their employees. It’s imperative to learn the policies and the laws regarding workplace discrimination. Print them out, read them, post them, brief them, talk about them and most importantly, adhere to them.

In conclusion, we should practice workplace preventative maintenance, which I describe as: Abandoning old behaviors and mindsets in the workplace that increase the likelihood of discrimination or decisions that could negatively impact careers. Workplace preventative maintenance is performed while we are working so that personnel and teams don’t break down unexpectedly when facing discrimination or punishment.

For Equal Opportunity related questions or concerns, please call us at 405-734-0367.

Keep up the good work!