SAFETY AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Naval warships are inherently dangerous. Crowded
living conditions, confined working spaces, and long
hours, often at night, are just a few reasons why you
must use caution at all times. Some evolutions, such as
underway replenishment, conducting flight operations,
testing weapons systems, or just a change in weather
conditions, greatly increase the dangers of being at sea.
All Navy ships have a comprehensive shipboard safety
program. This program was developed over many years
to make life at sea safe. This program is designed to
follow established procedures in conducting the
day-to-day business aboard ship, and it places special
emphasis on observing certain precautions.
The safety program stresses constant awareness of
the hazards of being at sea. The word mishap is often
used in referring to an incident that just happened.
Mishaps dont just happen; they are caused. Most
mishaps could have been prevented if the individuals
involved had followed established procedures and
Most of the precautions discussed in this chapter are
from a shipboard viewpoint, but many of them also
apply ashore. Dont depend on memory to remember
safety precautions. Almost every task you perform has
safety precautions that must be followed. Get the
operators manual, planned maintenance system
(PMS) card, or technical manual and read these
precautions. If you dont understand them or cant find
them, ask your supervisor for help. The few minutes you
take to read and understand these safety precautions will
make your job safer. Dont be one of the casualties
reported during a mishap. Its better to be safe than hurt
or possibly worsedead!
Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you
will be able to
R e c o g n i z e t h a t s a f e t y i s a p e r s o n a l
Your personal responsibilities for safety are as
Observe all safety precautions related to your
work or duties.
Report unsafe conditions. Do not walk around a
ladder well with missing safety chains and forget it.
Report it! If you use a piece of equipment that is
damaged, report it!
Warn others of hazards. If you see someone
knowingly, or unknowingly, placing themselves or
others in danger, say something. If that particular person
will not listen, tell your supervisor.
Protective equipment and clothing is issued to
you for a purposeuse them.
Wear eye and/or full-face protection. Its hard to
explain to the chief that you had to go to sick bay to get
something removed from your eye when you were given
a full-face shield before you started working.
Report all injuries or illnesses. If you should
become injured or feel sick, tell your supervisor. A little
scratch could become infected or your illness could be a
sign of something more serious. A little time having the
corpsman check you now is better than being in the
Remain alert. Look for any possibilities of
danger. Be safety conscious.
Dont rush into a job. Look at what you are
supposed to do. Is the equipment you have suited to the
job? Check the safety precautions for the equipment
you were issued. Is the equipment in good condition?
A shipboard environment introduces factors
affecting safety that are not found ashore. Danger exists
in every naval operation and aboard every naval vessel.
Going to sea involves working with powerful
machinery; high-speed equipment; high-temperature,
high-pressure steam; volatile fuels and propellants;
I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend
to go in harms way.
John Paul Jones