USA: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Recognizes Safety Excellence

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest raised a Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) safety flag celebrating their “dedication to safety” during a ceremony in San Diego, July 12.

The Safety Flag is beig flown in recognition of NAVFAC Southwest receiving the 2011 SECNAV Safety Excellence Awards in the Large Industrial Ashore Command category.

NAVFAC Southwest ceremonial flag-raising personnel included: Capts. S. Keith Hamilton and James Wink, Rodney Garringer, Gene Mascardo, Ruben Rodriguez, Raymond Dejesus, Steve O’brien, and Derrick Denessen.

“Receiving this award for our command means that we have worked very, very hard to keep our employees out of harm’s way,” said Tomas Gogue, NAVFAC Southwest Safety Officer. “We, the Occupational Safety and Health Specialists, along with many of our employees both up and down the chain of command continuously strive to achieve a goal of zero mishaps.”

Gogue said he takes tremendous pride, both personally and professionally, in the organization’s many safety achievements.

NAVFAC Southwest employed a multitude of safety processes throughout the year that helped to earn the prestigious recognition and keep their employees safe. Among these are monthly safety webinars, a quarterly Safety Senior Leadership conference, the “Good Catch” and “STOP ME!” programs, use of the Operational Risk Management process, and the Employee Driven Cultural Safety Program. These programs are indicative of the employee’s personal involvement in continuing safety goals, said Gogue.

NAVFAC Southwest also received SECNAV Safety Excellence recognition for achievement in safety ashore in the industrial category.

During the past two years, NAVFAC Southwest has experienced more than a 30 percent reduction in its in-house total case incident rate, days away, restricted duty, or transferred case rate, and lost time case rate. The command identified actions to improve safety in the workplace to demonstrate the mantra to “never put production ahead of working safely.”

“Our safety program, having employed many employee involvement processes, has had a tremendous effect on all of our employees both federal and contractual,” said Gogue. “The relationship between contractor employees and federal employees has grown into a useful working tool where both sides are concerned about safety and discuss how unsafe conditions can be avoided. They now get involved in their own safety as well as their co-workers. They can say, ‘NO!’ to an unsafe work assignment. They get involved and not just look the other way.”

Source: navy, July 21, 2011;