Safety is a command responsibility and should
be carried out through the chain of command.
Each level of command has responsibilities, both
in training and in day-to-day supervision of both
routine and specialized tasks. The safety program
itself does not make a unit or crew safer; rather,
the planned and coordinated activities of the
crew acting as teams and subteams within the
framework of the safety program make them
The commanding officer has the ultimate
responsibility for all safety matters within the unit.
To provide day-to-day staff assistance, the
commanding officer appoints a safety officer.
Using policies and goals established by the
commanding officer, the safety officer formulates
a safety program based on the SORN a nd
directives of higher authority. The safety officer
monitors the crews activities and exercises the
coordination necessary to make all hands aware
of the program and to keep it vital. The evalua-
tion of the results of the program provides the
commanding officer with a report about the
progress of the commands mishap prevention
goals. It also provides a report on the effectiveness
of the units safety program.
The standard unit organization for carrying
out a safety program is based on chapter 7 of the
Standard Organization and Regulations of the
U.S. Navy (OPNAVINST 3120.32B).
To coordinate monitoring and evaluating
efforts of the safety program without relieving
personnel of assigned responsibilities, activities
should establish a safety organization. The safety
organization should be established following the
guidelines in figure 8-2. The purpose of this
organization is to monitor mishap prevention
standards and to evaluate the effectiveness of the
safety program. The safety organization also
coordinates the distribution of safety information
regarding general mishap prevention, motor
vehicle safety, and recreational safety.
ORGANIZATIONS AND THE
The primary responsibility for safety lies in the
chain of command and rests with the appropriate
members of the administrative and watch
organizations. Members of the safety organiza-
tion have clear-cut responsibilities with regard to
monitoring and evaluating mishap prevention.
However, that in no way relieves the members of
the administrative and watch assignments for
which they are responsible.
THE SAFETY OFFICER
The safety officer is directly under the
executive officer in the chain of command
regarding the safety program. However, this
person has direct access to the commanding
officer in matters of safety. Normally, the safety
officer has department head status and is
responsible for enacting a comprehensive safety
program. This program is based on objectives
established by the commanding officer. The safety
officer is responsible for promoting maximum
cooperation in safety matters at all levels and
ensuring wide distribution of safety information.
The safety officer is also responsible for
monitoring the timely submission and accuracy
of safety reports and for maintaining appropriate
safety records and statistics. The safety officer
may be military or civilian and the head of a safety
department, depending on the size and mission
of the command.
The safety officer collaborates with all depart-
ment heads and departmental/divisional safety
officers in matters concerning safety.
Department Safety Officer
The department safety officer keeps the
department head advised on the status of the
department safety program within the unit. The
department safety officer also performs the
Performs mishap prevention functions as
the department head may assign
Acts as the departmental point of contact
for coordinating and evaluating the ships
Ensures correction of all hazardous
conditions revealed by safety hazard reports
Maintains records of mishaps and safety
hazards within the department, and main-
tains direct liaison with the unit safety