A Simple Measure To Detect Hazards

Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Jason Luthge, assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), directs fork-lift traffic across the flight deck during an ammunition on-load.

Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Jason Luthge, assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), directs fork-lift traffic across the flight deck during an ammunition on-load. (Photo for illustration only)

Compiled by the 360°SAFE Staff

Seven years ago, the Department of the Navy released via an all-Navy message the safety vision for 2009 and beyond. In the message, Navy commands were required to complete an annual self-assessment of their safety program. Commands conducting regular workplace inspections not only help their operations run smoothly, but also allow them to catch small discrepancies that could lead to a larger problem.

As outlined in the safety vision message, the self-assessment facilitates continuous improvement in safety performance by managing hazards, mitigating risks and implementing actions to reduce mishaps.

The following specific guidance further outlines the vision for all commands:

  1. Integrate safety into all on- and off-duty activities, work processes, and weapon system designs to enhance mission readiness, capability, and accomplishment.
  2. Imbed safety culture into the total force (military, civilians, and contractors), with accountability and involvement at all levels, through the adoption of a Safety Management System.
  3. Facilitate continuous improvement in safety performance by managing hazards, mitigating risk, and implementing actions to reduce mishaps, through the use of annual safety program self-assessments.
  4. Maintain effective safety monitoring and performance measuring systems that support senior leadership and unit-specific metrics, data analysis for root causes and development of mitigation strategies.
  5. Employ new technology and the latest management tools to facilitate individual and unit safety awareness and ownership.
  6. Aggressively and transparently communicate safety successes, share hazard awareness and share near-miss lessons learned.
  7. Enable safety performance by developing and maintaining a workforce of talented and skilled safety personnel, both military and civilian, that supports the seamless integration of safety into all work processes, products, and operations.

The guidance further outlines each command’s responsibilities for sharing information at each command/unit level through the chain of command and beyond the top five areas of concern, program deficiencies, and weaknesses, successes and roadblocks to successful mishap-prevention efforts.

Command safety self-assessments are essential to continuous improvement in hazard identification, risk mitigation and ultimately mishap reduction. Maximizing the effectiveness of the self-assessment process requires the participation of personnel at all levels in the organization including senior leadership, process owners, and deck-plate operators, as well as the safety staff or base operating services safety provider. A thorough assessment requires in-depth reviews of not only safety programs, but also the operations, processes, operating procedures and environments with the potential to cause personal injury, materiel damage or mission failure.

Top level management must be involved as they are the individuals who have the greatest influence on resource allocation and have the authority to make high-level risk-management decisions and to direct corrective actions.

The ultimate goal of the self-assessment is to identify and prioritize deficiencies, develop corrective actions, establish timelines and track completion.

REFERENCES

NAVADMIN 048/10: “Navy Implementation and Oversight Plan for the Department of the Naval Safety Vision and Secretary of Defense Mishap Reduction Goals”

Safety Self-Assessment Guide

NAVAL SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORTING ON THE WEB