Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Wins Excellence Award

Criteria considered for the annual Secretary of the Navy award include mishap trend analysis, safety inspections, and initiatives beyond what the Navy's safety regulations require.

The U.S. Navy announced that Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif., received its third Secretary of the Navy Safety and Excellence Award on Sept. 8, meaning the base is considered the safest Navy and Marine Corps base in the small industrial category. Three weeks earlier, the base received the SECNAV Energy and Water Conservation Management Platinum Level of Achievement for its environmental initiatives, including xeriscaping and photovoltaic power systems.

Base officials credit its involvement in OSHA's VPP program and the safety staff for enabling it to win the annual award again. "Our full-time safety staff deserves a great deal of credit for their outstanding efforts," said Capt. Terry Auberry, the base's commanding officer. "But safety is an all-hands effort, and all personnel have again shown that we remain safety-focused 24/7."

"The unique safety culture here at Seal Beach stems from our Voluntary Protection Program," said Marlo Valdez, a base safety specialist. "As a direct result, our sailors and employees have a proactive mindset rather than being reactive when it comes to safety." The base is preparing to apply for Star status in VPP.

"An award nomination is only as strong as its people," said Safety Installation Program Manager James Olinger. "People are only as strong as their willingness for change, and change is what the naval weapons station has accomplished."

Criteria considered for the award include mishap trend analysis, safety inspections, and special or unique initiatives beyond what the Navy's safety regulations require.

The base can fly the SECNAV safety flag for the next year. The awards will be presented in Washington, D.C., in October.

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