YOKOSUKA, Japan— Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East received the Fiscal Year 2017 Chief of Naval Operations Award for Achievement in Safety Ashore, the Navy announced March 14.
NAVFAC Far East won the Medium Industrial category for “significant contributions to Navy safety and occupational health.”
“This award is a testament and acknowledgement of our team’s superb efforts to maintain our Safety focus every day and look out for one another,” said NAVFAC Far East Safety Program Manager James Akashi. “All personnel at NAVFAC Far East played a crucial role in the command's sustained mission successes recognized by this award. Each member of our team contributed to our notable safety record while providing essential shore facility and Fleet support. Our accomplishments are truly indicative of a team effort and demonstrates an all hands safety program.”
NAVFAC Far East has more than 2,000 dedicated civilian, military and host-nation employees, the majority of whom work blue-collar jobs maintaining and repairing naval facilities and housing.
Akashi and his team travel regularly for “Safety Assist Visits” to work sites within the sprawling command which covers naval installations in Japan, Korea, Singapore and the British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia). These visits allow the team to review each site’s safety program and offer assistance.
Through the command’s “Good Catch Program,” employees are encouraged to identify, observe and reduce at-risk behaviors. In another program, each work space appoints a journeyman to assist supervisors in identifying and correcting safety and health concerns. The appointment is rotated to expand employee participation and program exposure.
A good safety program doesn’t stop at the office. Over the holiday season, NAVFAC Far East promoted a campaign to prevent drinking and driving and remind employees of special safety considerations like cooking at home and preparing for inclement weather. During the campaign, there were no accidents reported—on-or-off duty.
“These awards recognize outstanding support and achievement in safety and occupational health. Additionally, they were the most innovative and enthusiastic in marketing safety and promoting a superior level of safety culture within their commands. All nominees are to be commended for the significant contributions they have made toward reducing mishaps, increasing mission readiness and preserving our most precious asset—sailors and civilians. Congratulations to all for a job well done,” said Rear Adm. William Dillon, commander, Naval Safety Center.
NAVFAC Far East will be considered for the Secretary of the Navy Safety Excellence Awards.