Members of the first-shift Rafted Module Facility (RMF) Safety Task Team show off a banner that will hang in the facility. Photo by Ashley Cowan

Safety Task Team Making a Difference

Published March 15, 2023

The first-shift Rafted Module Facility (RMF) Safety Task Team set out to change the safety culture in their shop. And it appears the team’s efforts are paying off.

There are fewer injuries, safety issues are being identified and addressed in a timely manner, and there is better collaboration between craftsmen and craftswomen and leaders.

“I’m extremely proud of this team for taking the initiative to step out of the normal box and being willing to engage and take on extra responsibilities,” said H.D. Trulley, Virginia-Class Submarine Program safety rep. “This is just a sign of their overall engagement and willingness to make a difference.”

To make the team more visible and remind shipbuilders of the importance of safety, the safety task team unveiled a new banner last week that will hang in the RMF. It includes a picture drawn by a former member of the team and the slogan “Responsibility Made First,” a play on the RMF acronym.

“This is something that represents the shop, us as a team and the safety culture we expect to carry on throughout this shop,” said Shamar Strothers (X42), safety task team lead. “We’re here to keep people safe and prevent accidents before they happen. That’s what this is all about.”

Construction supervisors in the shop are pleased with the team’s initiative. “They do a very good job,” said Construction Supervisor Mason Cox (X82). “They’re very engaged and they care.”

Construction supervisors Tyler Baker (X82) and Lee Gilliam (X82) also praised the team’s passion and unwillingness to take an answer at face value.

“A lot of them have a questioning attitude,” Baker said.

Trulley said the team is an example of how to change safety culture across the shipyard. “The culture begins right here,” he said. “This team is setting the right example and modeling the way for others.”