Communication from the NW Regional Maintenance Center on Hot Work Safety
Department Heads and Superintendents,
Following the SSBN 743 CO comments on hot work last week at the CO Agenda Items meeting, key members of the Hot Work Functional Area including Code 106.2, Code 304, and Shop 26 met to consider if any additional actions or mitigations should be established to address a persistent trend of deficiencies. A review of data indicated there were indeed daily to every other day work stoppages due to deficiencies identified either by ship’s force or SSO oversight personnel. Although initial review of data indicated a stand down was not warranted, continued issues in hot work and in other areas, have led the project to implement a stand down.
In addition, the FA team recognized a need for better communication across all organizations performing hot work on all projects. They wanted to ensure all areas of concern are visible to the whole group of personnel performing hot work. To that end, a monthly drumbeat write-up similar to our weekly injury summary including the most common deficiencies and a BLUF will be developed based on Code 304 data. Code 106 will send this out in project ESH briefs on all projects. We will also work with Code 400 and the WIMs to get the brief to the contractors. If data indicate the need for a Yellow/Red ALERT, Code 106 will coordinate with the HW FA to issue an ALERT. The HW FA will continue to monitor the data and adjust the plan as needed.
This approach is intended to raise awareness of hot work deficiencies and to emphasize that even minor deviation from process can result in significant consequence. See the attached “Memorandum from NAVSEA, Assessment of Safety Programs with focus on fire protection and prevention 2018-2019.” This assessment was developed by NS 04RS based on fire data and self-assessments collected from across the NS enterprise. It’s not very long and worth a read for perspective.
-Hot work related fires continue to be the largest cause of fires (51%)
Primary causes include:
1. Failure to adequately prepare and maintain the hot work site, i.e. combustibles not removed or protected.
2. Inadequate hot work containment.
3. Fire watches either inattentive or inappropriately located. Fire watch is a boring job until something is on fire.
What can you do to help?
-Make sure personnel doing hot work take it seriously and prepare the area and the fire watch for the job.
-Always take notice of hot work and watch where the sparks go; have combustibles been removed, is the fire watch paying attention and positioned appropriately? If you see, something say something.
Fire safety is a solid program at our Shipyard, but there is always room for improvement. A mistake by any of our multiple organizations could have a devastating effect on personnel, naval assets, and/or availability performance.
Please note distribution included on this email and provide to others in your organizations who may benefit from the information.
Thanks and v/r, Mark Johnson