SCWG Supports Safety Culture at NASA

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Working Groups: Safety Culture

The Safety Culture Working Group (SCWG) convened on March 24 at Kennedy Space Center to evaluate and advance progress on Safety Culture products that are currently in work, which include a Safety Culture Handbook, surveys and training.

The Safety Culture Handbook

The meeting primarily focused on the Safety Culture Handbook, which was outlined during their last face-to-face meeting in August 2013. The SCWG evaluated the progress on the document, determined additional content and established next steps.

The Safety Culture Handbook will describe the five factors of the Safety Culture model — reporting, just, flexible, learning and engaged. The handbook will also outline the roles of employees and supervisors in promoting and sustaining a strong Safety Culture. The SCWG is targeting the end of the year for publication.

“I think we want to make it a resource that says, ‘This is the model, this is how we got here, these are some of the elements, this is what it means,’” said Safety Culture Specialist Manuel Dominguez.


The Safety Culture Working Group at Kennedy Space Center

The Safety Culture Survey

The working group also evaluated the progress, status and results of the NASA Safety Culture Survey.

The NASA Safety Culture Survey is a 20-item questionnaire that is sent to all NASA employees at each center in order to evaluate the center’s Safety Culture. The survey is distributed on a 3-year cycle, and the results are assessed and presented to the center director. Each question gives the participant an opportunity to provide a rating as well as comments on the Safety Culture at their work areas, directorate and center.

The initial survey was developed in 2009 to benchmark the five factors of the Safety Culture model. The 2013 survey measured changes in Safety Culture based on the results of the initial survey. In addition, the second survey included questions about how the agency contributes to Safety Culture and impacts the model.

Safety Culture Training

The status of Safety Culture training also was discussed at the working group meeting. Last year, the working group published two training courses in SATERN. The SCWG also offers onsite training to the centers. The group reviewed the training statistics and brainstormed about ways to promote the availability of the training throughout the agency.

“We are working on figuring out where training, policy and process for Safety Culture integrate well with NASA’s business,” explained David Loyd, chief of the Safety and Test Operations Division at Johnson Space Center.

“We want to address our Safety Culture at all levels in the organization with a variety of tools and processes,” stated Safety Culture Program Manager and Working Group Chair Dr. Tracy Dillinger. “We developed the NASA Safety Culture Model to provide a basic foundation — for everyone in NASA to have a common language, know what’s expected of them, what’s not acceptable and what they can do about it. I’m very proud of the progress the SCWG has made. We have made progress in every area of the program."

About the SCWG

The SCWG, with representation from all centers, is a key component of NASA's Safety Culture Program. The team tracks Safety Culture activities throughout the agency; disseminates information agency-wide; fosters open exchange of safety-related information; and ensures that the NASA Safety Culture Program is relevant to and benefits NASA's programs and institutional activities and the NASA workforce.