Updates to Chapters 4, 5 and 8 of NPR 8715.3, NASA General Safety Program Requirements went into effect on Aug. 1, 2017. These updates, part of Revision D, met the NASA requirement that ensures policies are updated at least every five years; however, a complete update to the policy is still in the works.
“The updates were good and needed to bring certain requirements into today’s times and meet the missions that we’ve got today,” explained Gerry Schumann, Institutional Safety program executive and owner of the document.
Changes to Chapter 4, Aviation Safety focused on clarifying that the responsibilities for the requirements and the Aviation Safety Program are delegated to the Aircraft Management Division (AMD) at NASA Headquarters. Specific requirements are documented in NPR 7900.3, Aircraft Operations Management, which is maintained by AMD.
Chapter 5, Fire Protection and Life Safety improve alignment of NASA policy with National Fire Protection Association requirements. Revision D also outlines qualifications for the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), including the minimum qualifications required to serve as the Fire Protection AHJ and the requirements for the agency Fire Prevention and Protection manager. Finally, the update removed duplicative language by eliminating items that are referenced elsewhere, such as NASA standards, and instead points to those policies.
Updates to Chapter 8, Facility Safety Management clarified the minimum requirements for Facility System Safety to reduce the number of formal prescriptive requirements in lieu of more performance-based requirements. Prior to the revision, site-specific requirements were being prescribed from the agency level, so while most centers were properly following the requirements, what was truly needed wasn’t being implemented. Now, centers are responsible for outlining their own, site-specific Facility System Safety programs that are appropriate for their projects.
Questions regarding NPR 8715.3 can be directed to Gerry Schumann, Institutional Safety Program executive or John Lapointe, Aviation Safety Program Executive.