Story Number: NNS140808-02Release Date: 8/8/2014 8:55:00 AM
By April Phillips, Naval Safety Center Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) -- In an effort to save lives and resources needlessly lost due to mishaps, an Operational Safety Council has been established and will meet monthly to share ideas and concerns.
The council was directed as part of the Fleet Safety Campaign plan recently signed by Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, (USFF) and Adm. Harry Harris, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT).
The council is comprised of safety officers from Type Commanders (TYCOMs) across warfighting communities in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets (through video teleconferencing), and representatives from the Naval Safety Center, USFF and PACFLT. The group meets at the Naval Safety Center headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.
"We're trying to collect all the best practices across our different cultures in a collaborative environment," said Cmdr. Brendan Murphy, director of Fleet Safety. "We're also trying to bring visibility to our safety-related issues and raise them up the chain of command."
The Operational Safety Council supports the Operational Safety Board, which is chaired jointly by Gortney and Harris, so important issues will ultimately receive high-level visibility.
Murphy said the idea of safety councils is time-honored, especially on-board ships and in squadrons.
"This is simply a bigger version of the unit-level safety councils," he said. "The goal is to learn from each other and work on safety issues that warrant a higher level of scrutiny. The TYCOMs now have an organizational body designed specifically to raise awareness about safety concerns important to them."
Unit-level safety professionals who would like to raise concerns for the council to consider are encouraged to communicate them to their TYCOM safety counterparts.