Foremen Jermaine “G” Gaines and Amanda Harris were tasked with developing the NNS Safety Principles.

Principles Aim to Strengthen Safety Culture

Published May 11, 2021

Safety should be at the forefront of every shipbuilder’s mind every day. To highlight the importance of this company value, Newport News Shipbuilding has a list of safety principles for all employees.

X36 Foreman Amanda Harris and X31 Foreman Jermaine “G” Gaines developed the NNS Safety Principles while participating in the Environmental Health and Safety (O27) Foreman Rotation. The two foremen combined their own experiences with O27 resources to come up with the list.

“Just as building carriers and submarines requires all hands on deck – so does safety,” Harris said. “I think the NNS Safety Principles are a great way of reminding shipbuilders that it takes a village to accomplish everything we do, and we all have a role that impacts our safety culture.”

The NNS Safety Principles – listed below – are a standard set of core values for safety.

  • We value human life.
  • All injuries are preventable.
  • Speak up when you see something unsafe.
  • Safety is an everyday action.
  • Safety requires both management responsibility and personal ownership.
  • We can’t live with deficiencies.
  • The best way to control a hazard is to eliminate it.
  • Never be satisfied – always strive to improve.

Shipbuilders are encouraged to learn the principles and discuss them with each other regularly.

“Ultimately, no job is so important that it cannot be done safely. If we all take these principles to heart and exhibit them each day, we can drastically improve our safety culture,” said Dru Branche, director of Plant Operations. “These basic concepts will protect our shipbuilders and ensure we all return home safe at the end of each day.”

In the coming months, each of the NNS Safety Principles will be highlighted in Currents with examples of shipbuilders who model these principles at work.