By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 3, 2017)－Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) received a flag of “safety excellence” from Capt. Greg Cook, Fleet Safety Officer of Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet as he recognized the command in their recertification as a 2015 Navy OCONUS Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Site.
A command that bears this flag is recognized by the Secretary of the Navy as one that continually demonstrates safety, health and compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet requirements.
“[Being recertified as a Star Site and] becoming VPP participants shows the command’s employees and the community that SRF is a leader in safety and health,” said Susan George, the command’s Environmental, Safety and Health, and Radiological Controls Director.
The command’s Sasebo detachment was equally recognized as a Star Site. Only three Navy OCONUS sites worldwide are currently recognized as having earned this distinction, two of which are SRF-JRMC Yokosuka and Det. Sasebo.
“Commitment to safety and health is good business,” George said. “Our VPP culture is ‘respect each other’ at work and protect each other from hazards. [Our] VPP Star Site status signifies SRF-JRMC employee involvement in developing safe work practices.”
A Star Site evaluation examines command climate, including employee engagement, leadership visibility, safety staff character and competence, housekeeping, daily pre-work meetings and employee “stop work” authority.
SRF-JRMC has been recognized for its leadership in safety and the environment with the Secretary of the Navy Award for Achievement in Safety Ashore in 1987, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014; and the Chief of Naval Operations Safety and Occupational Health Shore Safety Award (OCONUS industrial category) in 1987, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and in the industrial medium category (population 1,001 to 3,000) in 2012 and 2014.
OSHA officially began the Voluntary Protection Program in 1982. The “star” is meant to recognize employers and employees who demonstrate exemplary achievement in preventing and controlling occupational safety and health hazards, and in showing the development, implementation and continuous improvement of their safety and health management system.