By Catherine Cruz Norton, NAVFAC Marianas Public Affairs
NIMITZ HILL, Guam (NNS) -- More than 100 contractor partners gathered for a safety stand down hosted by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Dec. 9 at the Top of the Mar on Nimitz Hill, Guam.
"This safety forum demonstrates our interest in safety for all," said Safety and Health Program Manager for NAVFAC Marianas Mellissa Cruz. "We are taking the time to foster effective, proactive and transparent communication between our personnel and contractor partners," said Cruz. "It is important to ensure everyone is engaged and understands our expectations, lessons learned, and programmatic concerns."
NAVFAC Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Stephanie Jones praised the team for its current safety record and emphasized the importance of continuing to maintain a culture of safety through personal accountability.
"What I see you doing with safety is unbelievably good," said Jones. She issued a challenge to all federal contractors to continue to work every day at making safety a priority for all employees.
During the stand down attendees were encouraged to work towards a goal of reducing all mishaps through their safety programs. Professional engineers briefed on a variety of safety topics and focused on the areas of reporting near misses and reducing safety mishaps.
Facilities, Engineering and Acquisition Division (FEAD) Director Lt. Cmdr. Henry Suter said safety mishaps are almost always a result of human factors. He said in reviewing the number of near misses and operational discrepancies with NAVFAC Marianas projects, there is a definite correlation between near misses and mishaps, and emphasized the importance of reporting. "Contractor near miss reports demonstrate a proactive instead of a reactive safety program," said Suter. He said reporting near misses raise awareness and help with early identification and potential trends ultimately reducing the number of mishaps. "Knowing the benefits is there any reason why you wouldn't report a near miss?"
Other guest speakers addressed the proper level of safety oversight; leading indicators of safety mishaps, electrical safety and hazardous energy control. "From leaders to workers, everyone must be responsible for their safety and the safety of their co-workers," Cruz said.
With mounting construction projects anticipated for the Navy and Marine Corps on Guam, NAVFAC Marianas is committed to making safety a priority by hosting forums such as this on a consistent basis.