With more than $54.7 billion in Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (SCN) funds projected to be executed throughout fiscal year 2020 across 12 unique programs, safely carrying out the mission at Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast is paramount.
“Our role is to ensure the safety and health of our personnel is given the highest priority, at all levels of the command, as we carry out our daily duties and focus on the SSGC mission,” said Kenneth Williams, Code 140 Deputy Environment, Safety, and Health Manager.
With a team of eight, Code 140 is always on the move.
“A typical week includes inspecting and calibrating equipment, conducting anywhere between 20 to 60 confined space inspections, leading six to 10 industrial safety walkthroughs, attending ship program meetings, providing oversight on Program Process Control Procedures, leading workplace training, managing Personal Fall Arrest Systems, documenting all of the work we do through multiple outlets, and so much more,” said Krista Quick, Code 140 Occupational Safety and Health Supervisor.
As more programs are added to the SSGC portfolio, the team also conducts safety surveys at each new project location in an effort to team with industry partners early to ensure all safety regulations are met before work even begins. In addition, the team man-ages a comprehensive occupational health surveil-lance program, which includes hearing loss prevention, and coordinates crane certifications, which includes inspecting and testing portal and mobile cranes to ensure equipment meets all standards.
“Additionally, we are responsible for environmental oversight of work performed under contracts administered by the command,” Williams said. “This involves training personnel and increasing the awareness of pollution prevention, environmental protection, hazardous waste management and natural resources conservation.”
With such a small team and a large mission, the safety team is always looking for ways to become more efficient through SSGC’s innovation program. One such innovation addressed how to respond to the large number of confined space testing requirements in the shipyards with limited manpower.
“We concluded that training other codes to assist would be the best way forward in the immediate future,” Williams explained. “We have already conducted two Navy Competent Person (NCP) courses this year providing 80 hours of classroom training to 16 personnel outside of C140.”
In addition to classroom training, C140 personnel provide each NCP with 120 hours of required on-the-job training.
“Once these additional personnel are certified by the Command Confined Space Program Manager, they will be able to assist C140 in the testing of confined spaces, allowing C140 to conduct other required safety inspections,” Williams said.
Even with such a large mission that often requires long hours of hard work, the team recognizes the value they add to SSGC
“My job here at SSGC is very important for each and every employee because everyone desires to work in a safe and protected atmosphere,” said Roger Rowe, Jr., Code 140 Safety Specialist. “Health, safety and environmental concerns are important factors for all industries in order to promote the wellness of both employees and employers along with keeping material and equipment operational.”
The focus of the team is always on the people they serve.
“Working in safety is a challenging job on many levels, yet there is immense satisfaction in doing your part to make sure your workforce goes home each night to their families,” said Michael Metcalfe, Code 140 Rotational Program Safety Specialist.
SSGC, headquartered in Pascagoula, Mississippi, is an Echelon III Field Command of Naval Sea Systems Command. As the largest of the four geographically dispersed new construction field activities, SSGC administers and manages shipbuilding contracts with privately owned shipyards located along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama as well as post-delivery contracts with contractors in the homeports around the country.