For the first time since 2005, the Naval Safety Center (NSC) has completed the first major rewrite of the Navy Safety Program Manual (OPNAVINST 5100.23H). To prepare for its official release on Oct. 1, 2019, subject matter experts from NSC have embarked on a Fleet-wide road show from now through end of September. Yesterday, we had the privilege to host the NSC in a packed conference room at Navy Gateway Inn, here at NAS Lemoore.
The road show provided our safety representatives an information-sharing venue where details on changes were offered, expectations set and questions were answered. The updates will improve the Navy’s ability to preserve combat readiness and provide a safe workplace for military and civilian personnel.
- Creation of a Navy Safety Program Management System that now includes traffic safety, systems safety and recreational off-duty safety, which were all separate instructions in the past.
- Clarification of roles, responsibilities and programs to better show how to share accountability, authority, responsibility and subject matter expertise to ensure safety. With the updated manual, Navy safety is shifted to an agency focus.
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- Details Base Operating Support (BOS) safety services and delivery, including new requirements, to ensure hazards are properly identified, recorded and corrected throughout the enterprise.
- Establishes “trip wires” to assist commands in communicating risk and hazard information up the administrative and operational chain of command.
One thing that is evident as this new program rolls out is that it will take all commands (host and tenant) working together to ensure proper execution. My staff is ready to do its part and is poised to help all tenant commands navigate through these waters.
It is no surprise that safety continues to remain a key focus area for the Navy. While the overall rates have been brought down over the past decades, the fact of the matter is: Mishaps continue to occur. The worse by far are those that involve the loss of life. Furthermore, as you expand the scope to include regional commands and beyond, and it is almost surreal that we lose as may Sailors as we do.
If I had only one wish with the rollout of this rewrite of the Navy Safety Program Manual is that it makes safety infectious. May the ability to asses situations, deduce all conceivable outcomes and make the best possible decision extend from the work place to your everyday existence.