Dharion Wilson, an X33 foreman, leads shipbuilders through a demonstration on pump connections at the recent Quality and Safety Expo.

X33 Quality and Safety Expo Takes Interactive Approach

Published June 5, 2024

Shipbuilders in the Surface Preparation and Treatment department (X33), learned how to spot potential problems in the workplace at a Quality and Safety Expo that utilized everything from static displays to virtual reality.

The expo, held last week, brought together painters, blasters, insulators and cleaners in the Virginia-Class Submarine Program. One station challenged them to inspect connections on a pump. Another involved correct painting practices and identifying paint defects. Challenging the craftspeople with a friendly competition, they were quizzed on chemicals and hazardous waste disposal.

”We looked at the quality and safety issues on each program and across the enterprise holistically,” said Kimberly Jordan-Dillard, trades superintendent. “The Trades Business Office foremen took the quality issues and created interactive learning stations for each discipline so mechanics could inspect the work, see what is right, and what is wrong. We also partnered with PIVOT and the IN Deep Safety Task Team to answer questions, educate and provide specific stretches.”

Dharion Wilson, an X33 foreman, helped demonstrate to attendees the type of approved materials, how to verify a Foreign Material Exclusion Device (FMED) is installed, and how to properly apply pipe protection for blasting operations. He also led shipbuilders through the pump demonstration.

One popular stop allowed shipbuilders to don a headset and view a virtual realty work room, spotting problems. Erik Johnson, an X33 insulator, came away impressed.

“It looks like a workroom, which is really, really cool,” he said. “There is actually a way to go up the ladder, and tag things that are wrong. It was like those video games that are so realistic. I highly recommend to anyone in the trades who wants to try it.”

Future expos will be held at other programs throughout the shipyard.