Naval Facilities Engineering Command

Culture of Safety Recognized at NAVFAC Far East

04/24/19 08:11 AM

By Tanya King , NAVFAC Far East Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Masayo Takagi, engineering technician from Facility Engineering Acquisition Division (FEAD), Iwakuni, received a Safety through Awards and Recognition (STAR) Award from Capt. Michael Kenney, NAVFAC Far East commanding officer, at the NAVFAC Far East headquarters building April 16.

The STAR Award recognizes employees who are greatly devoted to safety.

Through her proactive approach, FEAD Iwakuni achieved a near perfect safety dashboard for fiscal year 2018. She also succeeded in maintaining a spotless mishap record in fiscal 2018, resulting in no missed work days for contractors or NAVFAC personnel. Their lost-work day rate was zero during the execution of over 30 projects.

This is the second time the award has been presented to Takagi, who has been an engineering technician for eight years and a collateral safety officer for nearly four years.

When Takagi became a collateral safety officer, she began figuring out what was required of the position. At that time, the office environment did not meet the safety standards required by the Safety Division. She got to work by getting familiar with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and adapt her work place according to those standards.

She is always thinking and challenging herself to work out the differences among contracts, practical operations and following safety procedures to execute projects properly.

“I keep in mind in that day-to-day work safety is the accumulation of many small things—I recognize this,” Takagi said, ‘So, I recommend not only to our co-workers, but also to contractors who are responsible for projects to have a ‘Good Catch’ perspective. I think the Good Catch policy implemented by the Safety Division is a good model to lead us.”

“Good Catch” is a way of thinking about safety by pointing out near-miss incidents, unhealthful conditions or unsafe acts. When those near-miss instances are raised to leadership, the example is shared with the command and the person who discovered the discrepancy is recognized by Safety Division for their keen attention to detail.

FEAD Iwakuni consists of one military officer, two U.S. civilians and six Japanese workers. They manage building construction and execute annual contacts. Also, they renovate and oversee maintenance of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni buildings. They awarded 21 contracts and dealt with more than 34,100,000 dollars at fiscal 2018.

Their efforts, along with constantly communicating about safety, have been recognized by members of team FEAD Iwakuni as important aspects in their ability to execute contracts.

“The reason why safety is so important is that we should not fear for our physical safety; if our work environments are safe, we can be more productive at work,” Takagi said. “We are required by our command to make our work environments safe and secure for all employees.”

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