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Since we obviously cannot expect to experience everything in life ourselves, we must learn from the experiences of others. We need to heed the lessons learned by those who have gone before us. Safety  precautions  and  operating  instructions provide documentation of experiences that teach us clear lessons. By heeding these precautions and instruc- tions, we can prepare ourselves to live successfully and safely in our everyday environment. We can learn about mishap prevention from actual mishaps. Experience shows what went wrong and how often. It also shows what has to be done to correct a potential  mishap  problem.  Safety  rules  and  operation and  maintenance  procedures  and  practices  reflect lessons  learned  from  past  mishaps. Environment, equipment design, or lack of finding or training increases the hazards of some conditions. For example, the best setting for a piece of equipment and its operator is a stable platform. However, the shipboard environment  cannot  always  provide  the  ideal  setting. The  environment  of  a  naval  ship  is  potentially dangerous.  Fuel,  ammunition,  high  temperatures, electrical circuits, steel decks, salt water, ladders, voids, and machinery create conditions that can catch the unwary. In the aviation community, high-performance aircraft make the hazards even greater. Everyone in the Navy must be aware of these hazards. Make sure you provide hazard awareness training. The  hidden  hazards  are  the  ones  that  often  cause mishaps. Routine tasks may lull people into a false sense of security; they may then be tripped up by something that appeared irrelevant or that they did not notice. A detailed review of the conditions that existed at the time of a mishap might reveal hazards that would have been obvious  to  the  trained  observer. Teach people that they should not take risks when they suspect something is wrong or take shortcuts to avoid  the  inconvenience  of  safe  practices.  Make  them realize  that  a  disabling  injury  or  lost  or  damaged equipment is much more inconvenient in the long run. Use  formal  and  on-the-job  training  to  develop hazard  awareness.  Measure  that  awareness  by  the  ability of your people to identify hazards. Although you can teach people to identify known hazards, you may have difficulty  teaching  them  to  recognize  hidden  hazards. Their  skill  level,  experience,  attitude,  and  sense  of responsibility  may  affect  their  ability  to  identify  hidden hazards. You must be able to recognize and evaluate those areas that affect your people’s ability to learn. You must be able to teach others what you know and what you  have  learned  through  experience. As a result of changing technology, the working environment  constantly  undergoes  new  developments and  receives  new  equipment.  Therefore,  in  spite  of conscientious  mishap  prevention,  you  must  always watch  for  hazards  in  the  work  environment.  Hazards may  exist  because  of  mistakes  made  by  others  or because   of   your   own   behavior.   Although   hazard awareness training teaches people to be more observant of  hazardous  conditions,  it  requires  a  certain  amount  of self-awareness  by  the  trainee.  Education,  training,  and experience  improve  the  trainee’s  awareness. SUMMARY In  chapter  1  we  reviewed  safety  training  require- ments. In chapter 2 we discussed safety attitudes and promoting a safety program. All of that information involves  hazard  awareness. This chapter exposed you to some of the causes of mishaps  and  ways  to  prevent  them.  For  further information  and  guidance,  you  may  find  the  following references  in  Appendix  I  helpful.  Remember,  take  steps to  prevent  mishaps  BEFORE  they  happen. 3-17

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