DEVELOPMENT OF THE NAVY
We designed this training manual to help acquaint
you with the Navys safety and occupational health
programs, their setup, management, and supervision. In
addition to the Navy Occupational Safety and Health
(NAVOSH) Program, we will discuss the Shore Safety
Program, the Afloat Safety Program, the Aviation
Safety Program, and your duties as a naval safety
supervisor. We have provided the appropriate
references for specific safety standards throughout this
manual and various safety terms and acronyms. You
will also find information on the following program
Safety program promotion and attitudes
Mishap causes and prevention
Mishap investigation and reporting
Safety program evaluation
NAVOSH Program elements
Athletic, recreation, and home safety programs
In this chapter, we cover the history and develop-
ment of the Navy Occupational Safety and Health
Program and its current organization. We also describe
the role of safety supervisors, their responsibilities, and
the criteria for their selection as safety supervisors.
HISTORY OF NAVY SAFETY PROGRAM
As your employer, the Navy is obligated by law to
provide you with a safe and healthy work environment.
Shipboard life, shipyard industrial activities, and
aviation maintenance areas, especially, are inherently
dangerous. We must keep our crewmembers, as well as
civilian workers, healthy and ready to perform their
The Navy has conducted safety and occupational
health programs for many years. Historically, general
and off-duty safety has been an element of the overall
Navy safety program managed by Navy line functions.
The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)
conducts the occupational health program element.
The following is a brief listing of the milestones in
the Navys safety program:
Safety engineers were assigned to each
Safety programs for civilian employees
were introduced at all naval activities.
Enlisted personnel on shore duty were
included in safety programs.
The Navy Department Safety Council was
organized under the Director of Safety of
the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR).
Its original mission was to coordinate
safety procedures and to provide
communications between the bureau
safety engineers and the technical staff of
the OIR safety branch. In 1967, the
councils mission was expanded to
include the development and maintenance
of the U.S. Navy Safety Precautions
Manual, OPNAV 34P1.
The transition from propeller to jet air-
craft helped the Secretary of the Navy
(SECNAV) to establish the Naval
Aviation Safety Council. In 1955 the
name was changed to the Naval Aviation
The Navy was shaken by the sudden loss
of the USS Thresher (SSN-593), in which
129 sailors were lost. The Navy convened
a court of inquiry to examine the
circumstances leading up to and
surrounding the incident. The courts
findings resulted in the creation of the
Submarine Safety Program (SUBSAFE).