In the latest report the Naval Safety Center sent out for Fiscal Year 2015, 583 million dollars had been lost this year due to mishaps. According to The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, human error is a part of almost every mishap, with complacency being the most cited contributor to work-related injuries. To combat this number, the Navy takes a proactive, preventative approach to safety called ORM. Twice a year, commands are required to perform what the community calls a ‘safety stand down’, where Sailors learn about the more common safety topics. Topics can range from heart health, physical fitness safety precautions, sexual health, tobacco free living, suicide prevention, and more. Even while deployed, Sailors are required to attend the training seminars that are set forth by the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center.
“Safety stand downs are a time to reflect in our command and our community,” said Aviation Machinist’s Mate First Class Michael Henderson, Patrol Squadron (VP) 9’s Aviation Safety Specialist. During the safety stand down, Henderson explains that the squadron takes a time out to take a break from the day-to-day pressure of deployment, mitigate all the risks they’ve observed so far and potential future risks, see what benefits come from following a plan, and move forward in the safest manner possible.
One tool that Sailors use to assist with their safety and decision making is the ORM matrix. The matrix assesses the hazardous situation and encourages Sailors to make decisions based on the safest favorable outcome.
“ORM is used to manage risks, so if your risk is at home, playing a sport, or at work, the whole process can be used by anyone,” said Henderson. “When in a working environment or even at home, people tend to think they’ve done it before so it must be safe.”
Sailors from Patrol Squadron NINE recognize the importance of ORM in their day-to-day. When planning for events to preparing for flights, Sailors use the ORM matrix and a guideline for decision making.
“ORM is a process that we take to catch ourselves before we make a mistake,” said Aviation Administrationman Second Class Alexandrea Galosi, a Sailor assigned to VP-9. “Just using the method alone will help you at work and off duty. One example of ORM that I used today was walking to work. It was raining and I was running late so I could have tried to run to work over the gravel and I decided not to because I could slip and fall.”
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