USS Chung-Hoon Receives 2016 SECNAV Safety Excellence Award

Story Number: NNS170628-03Release Date: 6/28/2017 8:07:00 AM
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By Lt. j.g. Amber Lowman, USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- USS Chung-Hoon was recently awarded the fiscal year 2016 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Safety Excellence Award for the afloat unit category.

This is a broad category which include every ship in the Navy - surface ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers. This recognition is a vivid example of the crew's strong commitment to the mission, the Department of the Navy, and to the nation as a world-class safety organization.

This award comes as no surprise to the ship's crew who continuously incorporates safety in all aspects.

Chung-Hoon Sailors, however, have not gone incident-free for the last year, but they routinely practice operational risk management, track and report all incidents and hazards as they are discovered and conduct robust training to best prepare for the dangers of life at sea. As a result, Chung-Hoon will proudly fly the SECNAV safety flag for the next year.

Every two to three years surface navy ships receive an afloat safety assessment. Chung-Hoon was assessed in September 2016 with a score in the 90 percentile. The ship was inspected for safety administration, all Navy Occupational Safety and Health programs, and divisional deck plate compliance with adherence to safety standards. Even with near perfect scores, Chung-Hoon still finds ways to improve the workplace environment. Having just exited a four-month-long dry dock period, it has experienced some challenges and enacted new practices, which may benefit other ships with hopes to improve their safety and execute a successful dry-docking selected restricted availability (DSRA).

During their recent DSRA, Chung-Hoon was committed to strictly follow the Plan-Brief-Execute-Debrief (PBED) and Operational Risk Management (ORM) process for evolutions both simple and complex. The ships attention to the PBED and ORM processes made for a safer working environment and climate.

Chung-Hoon also worked closely with Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and their safety organization that provided an outside set of eyes and helped identify potential hazards to the work environments. The ship also conducted monthly safety committee meetings with divisional safety petty officers to discuss safety concerns and strategize new methods to diminish safety hazards.
Cmdr. Vic Sheldon, commanding officer of USS Chung-Hoon, has made it clear that safety is on his mind and makes sure the crew is safety conscious as well.

"Establishing an environment where people feel comfortable raising safety concerns is critical to having a safe place to come to work. If each discrepancy is treated equally, large safety discrepancies are less likely to arise."

A safe working environment really is not that hard to achieve, it is about knowing your equipment and doing the little things like maintenance and safety programs the right way each day.

Lt. j.g. Brittany Henley, safety officer of USS Chung-Hoon, will receive the SECNAV Afloat Safety Award in a ceremony held at the Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. on June 29.

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