NASA recognized the NASA Safety Culture Working Group’s (SCWG) outstanding contributions to the agency’s mission by presenting its members with the 2019 Agency Honor Awards Group Achievement Award.
The SCWG is comprised of representatives from all 10 NASA centers, its subordinate organizations and technical authorities. Each working group member plays a critical role in promoting a robust and healthy Safety Culture across NASA. The group’s ongoing tasks are to develop agencywide assessments for civil servants and contractors and Safety Culture training through workshops, presentations and SATERN courses.
The agency recognized that the SCWG has shown outstanding leadership in the development and implementation of the program over the past decade, ensuring the agency continues to carry out its mission safely. Some achievements include developing the NASA Safety Model and five-factor DNA logo, agency Safety Culture definition, Safety Culture Survey, and Safety Culture Handbook. The group also updated agency guidance in support of Safety Culture activities throughout the enterprise, implemented recognition awards such as the Yes-If coin, and developed the Caught Doing Right initiative and annual poster that recognizes individuals from each center.
The Safety Culture program provides analysis and feedback — based on thousands of results from the Safety Culture Survey — for all center directors. Center directors and senior leadership use these results to benchmark, note changes, look for areas of concern and areas for improvement, develop action plans, and continually support safe mission activities.
The last two cycles show 34,808 survey participants — a significant increase from past cycles. The survey results help to establish and cultivate an ongoing dialogue between employees and management about working together toward safer work conditions and successful outcomes.
As with any program, unforeseen challenges arise. During the third survey cycle, the SCWG learned the Safety Culture Survey needed Office of Personnel Management (OPM) concurrence and an OPM control number for contractor personnel participation. With the assistance of multiple Headquarters entities, a favorable resolution that would usually take months was obtained within six weeks.
The SCWG developed innovative contributions to center Safety Days/Weeks and several successful outreach activities, including training for employees on hazard recognition and reporting and the development of "Leading Change" workshops.
In 2015, the SCWG developed employee and supervisor versions of a Safety Culture SATERN course for civil servants and contractors. In 2018, the SCWG updated both courses to include newer scenarios, along with basic Safety Culture knowledge, expectations and how NASA incorporates Safety Culture by encouraging individuals to speak up, listen and report safety concerns. More than 27,000 employees have completed this course since its release in 2015.
Now mandatory for new hires, the employee Safety Culture course quickly became the backbone of NASA's safety training. The SCWG fosters an atmosphere of open communication and mutual trust, as well as shared values and lessons. It also instills confidence that will balance challenges and risks that are consistent with NASA’s safety core value to successfully accomplish the agency’s mission.
For more information, contact Safety Culture program Manager Tracy Dillinger.