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Home : Safety Promotions : News
NEWS | April 10, 2024

Shore Safety Award Winners Share Common Traits

By Rebecca Coleman, Naval Safety Command Safety Promotions-Public Affairs

Engaged leadership, adherence to the Navy’s Safety Management System and commitment to Get Real, Get Better principles were all commonalities among the Chief of Naval Operations’ fiscal 2023 Shore Safety award recipients.

Naval Safety Command recently announced the following organizations as winners in their respective categories:

Small Industrial: Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC), Washington
Medium Industrial: Southeastern Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC), Florida
Large Industrial: Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE), North Carolina
Small Non-Industrial: Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) Florence, North Carolina
Medium Non-Industrial: Naval Station Rota, Spain
Large Non-Industrial: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois

In a message to the fleet, Rear Adm. Christopher Engdahl, commander, NAVSAFECOM, noted the winning organizations excelled in implementing the SMS, achieving high-velocity learning, reducing mishaps and costs and promoting a strong safety culture.
Some key accomplishments taken from the winning organizations’ award submissions (edited):

Small Industrial: The SWFPAC’s focus in FY23 was incorporating the Get Real, Get Better tenets using their “high-velocity learning” framework and seeking opportunities to improve, identify and resolve problems. The SWFPAC aided six submarines, accomplished safe and secure loading and unloading of 50 TRIDENT II missiles and safely performed 2,713 moves of several million pounds of explosive ordnance. Risk management was a key factor as well; SWFPAC funded and established a crew of 28 base operating services contractor tradesmen who managed the maintenance backlog and repairs to facilities, reducing operational and staff risks.

Medium Industrial: The SERMC also achieved a strong safety culture, characterized by the four desired SMS outcomes: Safe Place, Safe People, Safe Property and Material and Safe Processes and Procedures. An engaged leadership style encouraged all personnel to participate in the command safety program and recognize outstanding efforts through monetary and non-monetary recognition. The command opened its monthly safety meetings to all employees and contractors, amplifying involvement at all levels. The command completed 138 inspections in FY23, documenting five deficiencies that were abated. Off-duty mishaps continued to trend down from previous years, a positive indicator of increased recreational off-duty training and hazard recognition. The SERMC’s shipboard efforts entailed completing 27 verification exercises and one full-scale exercise last year.

Large Industrial: The FRCE has established a successful safety policy, which is evident by its recognition as a Voluntary Protection Program Star participant. The command conducted more than 1,872 safe site inspections during FY23. To date, 9,283 safety concerns have been reported and 9,074 have been addressed. Risk management remains at the forefront, given the command’s highly industrialized aviation complex. The FRC East Industrial Hygiene program has 119 Priority I, II and III areas that are surveyed annually every four years. Additionally, supervisors submitted 99 job hazard analyses that were reviewed and uploaded into the command’s JHA library. The command also enhanced their safety promotion efforts, creating safety videos to promote a positive safety culture further; topics included hearing and sight conservation, personal protective equipment usage and pedestrian and driver safety.

Small Non-Industrial: The OICC Florence organization continued its trend of zero civilian and military in-house safety mishaps over the last three years. The commander immediately set a safety mindset upon arrival in July 2023, prioritizing safety amongst the workforce and setting expectations for all hands. During FY23, the command executed 152,000 man-hours overseeing the execution and delivery of $580 million of work-in-place with zero in-house safety mishaps. Last year, the OICC Florence had zero current deficiencies and zero risk assessment code 1, 2 or 3 hazards. The command also uses forums, dashboards and activities to hone its safety program performance. This initiative has resulted in OICC Florence having a NAVFAC-leading 99.6% training completion rate. Additionally, supervisors lead monthly inspections of its facilities, enhancing awareness.

Medium Non-Industrial: Naval Station Rota’s leadership promulgates safety accountability across all levels. Some key accomplishments include 118 mishap-free ammunition evolutions – moving 280,000 pounds and successful mishap mitigations. A slip/trip/fall awareness campaign further reduced on-duty slip/trip/fall mishaps by 33% in FY23, with six reported, down from the nine reported in FY22 and an overall reduction of 90% of the previous four-year total of 66 in the on-duty mishap category. Monthly Armed Forces Network radio talks by the commander and safety director reinforce solutions to topics impacting the workforce, further fostering a positive safety culture.

Large Non-Industrial: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, leadership embraced safety as a top priority, stressing empowerment amongst supervisors and ensuring safety concerns were addressed at the appropriate level. Additionally, the command created a multilingual training curriculum, enabling employees to receive safety-related training in their native language. The Great Lakes Safety Program’s effectiveness is honed in on training compliance, near mishap trends and ergonomic complaints. In the crucial area of explosive safety, Great Lakes has been 100% compliant for the previous two fiscal years. Near-miss reports have decreased from three in FY22 to one in FY23. A reduction in near-miss incidents demonstrates its staff is taking steps to reduce the situations that can cause injury. Lessons learned are discussed at least quarterly in the base Safety Council meetings. The command Plan of the Week also communicates safety tips and lessons. Wet and freezing conditions are expected in Great Lakes, and it was identified in a safety council meeting that some staff were slipping on icy surfaces. As a result, ice hazard signs were placed near walking surfaces to alert them to freezing conditions.