Monette Receives Yes, If Coin for Promoting Safety Culture, Leading by Example
Kevin Monette, NASA safety specialist at the Kennedy Space Center’s Resident Office at Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB), was recognized as a “Yes, If” coin recipient on Oct. 18, 2021, for his constant commitment to safety on Launch Services Program (LSP) missions.
“I was deeply touched and moved to have been recognized to that extent,” said Monette.
Working remotely at VSFB, Monette is often faced with situations where he has to rely on his sound judgement to make real-time decisions that ultimately affect the safety of personnel and flight hardware that contribute to mission success.
Currently, Monette ensures LSP missions launched from the VSFB are accomplished with Safety and Mission Assurance in mind. His daily activities during a launch campaign include actively supporting spacecraft and launch vehicle assembly, testing and launch preparation operations that take place at a variety of processing facilities and launch complexes across the expansive VSFB coastal range.
He asks himself, “Can the operation continue in a safe manner and still reach the objective?” and answers “Yes, if effective changes can be made to the configuration of an operation, personnel training, or equipment and/or flight hardware. I’ve found getting to Yes, if … often requires understanding the intent of the safety requirements and consulting with other disciplines to achieve the most effective outcome.”
Monette continues to promote Safety Culture on the multiple teams he is a member of and sets a great example for less-experienced team members.
“NASA is the first place I’ve worked, as a civilian, where safety is absolutely paramount,” said Monette. “Of course, others take safety very seriously, but at NASA, it’s in our DNA. You see it throughout the organization, at every level and phase of each project, safety is at the table. Understanding that risk is inherent to everything that we do, we work to either eliminate it or minimize it by engineering processes, developing procedures or physical means that create the safest environment we can for our workforce. As a safety professional, working for NASA is a dream come true.”