101: Safety Fundamentals

101.1 Discuss the basic requirements for each of the following Navy Occupational Safety and Health NAVOSH Programs:

a. Respiratory Protection Many of the repair and maintenance activities performed at naval facilities generate air contaminants which can be dangerous, if inhaled. The best means of protecting personnel from exposure to such potentially hazardous materials is through the use of accepted engineering control measures, such as local exhaust ventilation. However, the use of engineering control measures may not always be technologically or economically feasible, due to the nature and location of the activities. In these situations, appropriate respiratory protection shall be used to ensure personnel protection.

Whenever respiratory protection is required, a respiratory protection program shall be established and maintained per the requirements of this chapter and reference 15-2. A trained Respiratory Protection Program Manager (RPPM) shall be appointed in writing, by the commanding officer or officer in charge. The RPPM shall be responsible for implementing program requirements. MinimumRPPM training requirements are contained in Section 1512.

Respirator Use for Documented Health Hazards. Command programs shall only permit the issuance of respiratory protection for the following personnel:

(1) Workers in areas known to have contaminant levels requiring the use of respiratory protection or in which contaminant levels requiring the use of respiratory protection may be created without warning (e.g., emergency purposes such as hazardous material spill responses).

(2) Workers performing operations documented to be health hazardous and those unavoidably required to be in the immediate vicinity where similar levels of contaminate are generated.

(3) Workers in suspect areas or performing operations suspected of being health hazardous but for which adequate sampling data has not been obtained.

(4) Systems Command technical manuals sometimes list respirators as required PPE for use. These manuals are written for the worst case scenario, and respirators shall be used as recommended by the RPPM.

Types of Respirators: The three basic types of respirators are the air purifying, supplied-air, and self-contained breathing apparatuses are sometime grouped together as atmospheric supplying respirators.

b. Hearing Conservation

Historically, noise exposure has been recognized as an occupational hazard related to certain trades such as blacksmithing and boilermaking. Modern technology has extended the risk to many other activities, such as using presses, forging hammers, grinders, saws, internal combustion engines, saws, internal combustion engines, or similar high speed, high-energy processes.

Exposure to high intensity noise occurs as a result of either impulse or blast noise (i.e., gunfire, rocket fire, etc.) or from continuous or intermittent sounds such as jet or propeller aircraft, marine engines, and a myriad of noise sources in industrial activities.

The proliferation and power of modern naval weapons and propulsion systems produces intense hazardous noise environments. In such environments, Navy personnel must hear well enough for adequate communication without falling victim to the acoustic danger of the powerful systems they operate. Noise control and hearing conservation measures contribute to operational readiness by preserving and optimizing auditory fitness for duty in Navy personnel.

Hearing loss has been and continues to be a source of concern within the Navy, both ashore and afloat. Hearing loss attributed to occupational exposure to hazardous noise, the high cost of related compensation claims, and the resulting drop in productivity and efficiency have highlighted a significant problem which requires considerable attention.

Introduction. The goal of the Navy Hearing Conservation Program is to prevent occupational hearing loss and ensure auditory fitness for duty in the military and civilian workforce. The program includes the following:

Work environments shall be surveyed to identify potentially hazardous noise levels and personnel at risk.

Environments that contain or equipment that produces potentially hazardous noise shall, whenever it is technologically and economically feasible, be modified to reduce the noise level to acceptable levels. Reduction of noise at the source is in the best interest of the Navy and its personnel. Section 1803 of this chapter provides specific guidance on noise abatement. The use of personal hearing protective devices to limit noise exposure is considered to be an interim protective measure while engineering control methods are being implemented. Where engineering controls are not feasible, administrative controls and/or the use of hearing protective devices shall be employed.

Periodic hearing testing shall be conducted to monitor the effectiveness of the hearing conservation program. Early detection of temporary threshold shifts allows further protective action to be taken before Permanent hearing loss occurs. Follow-up evaluation shall be provided to ensure appropriate referral, treatment, and early return to duty.

Education of individuals exposed to hazardous noise, their supervisors, and people providing hearing conservation services (i.e. training, monitoring, hearing protection, etc.) to these individuals is vital to the overall success of a hearing conservation program. An understanding of the permanent nature of noise-induced hearing loss, its negative effects on operational readiness and individual fitness for duty, the command's hearing conservation program, and the individual's responsibilities under the program are all essential for Program effectiveness. Also, all Navy employees shall be encouraged to use hearing Protective devices when they are exposed to hazardous noise during off-duty activities, e.g., from lawn mowers, chain saws, firearms, etc.

c. Sight Conservation

Navy Policy requires that Navy personnel exposed to eye hazardous areas or operations be provided adequate eye protection at government expense. Employees Shall be required to wear appropriate eye protective equipment when performing eye hazardous operations such as:

1. Pouring or handling molten metals of corrosive liquids and solids
2. Cutting and welding
3. Drilling
4. Grinding
5. Milling
6. Chipping
7. Sand blasting or other dust producing operations.

Any persons entering a Posted eye hazard area, including other workers, supervisors, or visitors shall also be required to wear eye protective equipment. All Navy activities with personnel exposed to eye hazardous operations shall implement a sight conservation program per the guidance established in this chapter. The activity sight conservation program shall include, but not be limited to, the following program elements:

1. Identification and evaluation of eye hazardous areas, processes, and occupations.
2. An employee vision screening program.
3. Effective equipment maintenance program.
4. AN effective employee training, promotion and emphasis program.
5. Effective program enforcement.

In order to establish a sight conservation program, eye hazardous exposures including areas, occupations, equipment, and processes shall be identified and appropriate controls implemented. Survey. A complete survey (hazard assessment) of all activity work areas, equipment, and processes shall be conducted to determine which are eye hazardous, which personnel require eye protection, and the type of eye protection required. In addition to the common eye hazards, such as flying objects resulting from certain cutting and drilling operations, the survey shall also consider the eye hazards associated with exposures to various forms of electromagnetic radiation (e.g., laser, ultra-violet, infrared, and microwave radiation). The hazard assessment may be a part of the workplace inspection program outlined in Chapter 9. The activity occupational safety and health (OSH) manager shall maintain a list of all areas, processes, and occupations that require eye protection.

To meet OSHA requirements in reference 19-3, the following additional action is required:

There shall be written certification that the hazard assessment has been made; The written certification shall identify the name of the person making the certification; The date of the hazard assessment shall be included on the certification document; The certification document shall clearly be identified as such.

All areas designated, as eye hazardous shall be posted with an appropriate warning sign. Such signs shall be consistent with the requirements of reference 19-4 and shall be located at all entrances to designated areas, as practicable.

Emergency Eyewash Facilities.

Emergency eyewash facilities meeting the requirements of reference 19-5 shall be Provided in all areas where the eyes of any employee may be exposed to corrosive materials. All such emergency facilities shall be located where they are easily accessible to those in need. Plumbed eyewash units shall be activated weekly, for a minimum of 3 minutes, to flush the line and to verify proper operation. Pressurized and non-pressurized self-contained eyewash self contained eyewash units be serviced quarterly or per the manufacturer's recommendations, whichever is less. Quarterly maintenance shall include cleaning of the unit, replacement of water, and checking for proper operation. Where an additive is used in a self-contained eyewash unit, the type of additive chosen shall be per the recommendations of the eyewash manufacturer, and the periodicity of changing the fluid shall be per the recommendation of the manufacturer of the additive. A written, dated, and signed maintenance record shall be maintained.

All personnel exposed to eye hazardous processes or operations shall be scheduled for sight screening examination at the cognizant Navy or government medical treatment activity, or where such Navy or government support is not available, at an appropriate local vision screening organization prior to assignment and annually thereafter.

d. Personnel Protective Equipment

Under the requirements of Chapter 5 (Prevention and Control of Workplace Hazards), engineering controls shall be the primary methods used to eliminate or minimize hazard exposure in the workplace. When such controls are not practicable, personal protective equipment (PPE) shall be employed to reduce or eliminate personnel exposure to hazards. However, PPE is not a desirable substitute for administrative or engineering controls.

It is Navy policy that PPE be provided, used, and maintained when competent authority has determined that its use is required and that such use will lessen the likelihood of occupational injuries and/or illnesses. Activities shall provide necessary protective equipment where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the equipment will prevent or reduce the severity of injuries or illnesses. PPE procurement and enforcement of proper use and maintenance is the responsibility of the activity.

It must be recognized that personal protective devices do nothing to reduce or eliminate the hazard itself. They merely establish a last line of defense, and any equipment breakdown, failure, or misuse immediately exposes the worker to the hazard. Many protective devices, through misapplication or improper maintenance, can become ineffective without the knowledge of the wearer and can have potentially serious consequences. For this reason, proper equipment selection, maintenance, employee training and mandatory enforcement of equipment use are key elements of an effective PPE program.

Each activity shall assess all workplaces to determine if hazards are present that necessitates the use of PPE. If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the following actions shall be accomplished: a. Select and have each affected employee use the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment. b. Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee. c. Verify that the required workplace hazard assessment has been performed through a written certification that identifies the workplace evaluated; the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed; the date(s) of the hazard assessment; and which identifies the document as a certification of hazard assessment.

Eye and Face Protection

Approved eye and face protection shall be worn when there is a reasonable probability that wearing such equipment can prevent an injury. Eye protection shall be worn at all times in a designated eye hazard area. Eye and/or face injury can because by flying particles and chips; splashes from liquids such as acids, caustics, and solvents; operations that generate hot slag or molten metal, welding glare; etc. The activity is responsible for providing the required approved protective equipment and enforcing its use.

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory hazards may occur through exposure to harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smoke, sprays, and vapors. The best way to protect personnel is through the use of engineering controls, e.g., local exhaust ventilation. Only when engineering controls are not practical or applicable shall personal respiratory protective equipment be employed to reduce personnel exposures. However, in no case shall respiratory protection equipment be used as a substitute for engineering controls. Ashore respiratory protection guidance is provided in Chapter 1 5. Respiratory protection requirements for forces afloat is contained In reference 20-3, Chapter B6.

Foot Protection

It is Navy policy that all employees (military and civilian) occupationally exposed to foot and toe hazards be furnished appropriate safety shoes/boots at government expense. The activity commander, based on advice from the activity occupational and safety (OSH) office, shall designate local foot/toe hazardous operations/areas and the type of foot protection required. Foot and toe protection shall be worn at all times in a designated foot hazard area.

For inputs, comments, or questions please contact:


AMS1 Mark L. Starr

AZC(AW/NAC) Kimberly King