New Explosives Safety Course for Managers, Supervisors and Non-Explosives Personnel
NASA’s Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program recently released “Explosives Safety Awareness Training for Managers, Supervisors and Non-Explosives Personnel” (SMA-HQ-WBT-222) in SATERN. This online course provides an overview of Explosives Safety flow-down requirements and responsibilities for program, project and element managers throughout NASA. It emphasizes the responsibilities of personnel and safety awareness of operations that involve the handling, storage, transportation and processing of explosives.
“We believe this course will help round out the agency’s Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program,” said Mike Hallock, White Sands Test Facility’s Explosives Safety Officer (ESO). “We have training for handlers, for ESOs and for the explosives training officers outlined in our NASA standard, but we didn’t have training for the supervisors of those people. This closes that gap with a course that’s short and succinct.”
“Having a well-rounded Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program with well-educated and aware management of this work helps significantly with Risk Management,” added Sandra Hudson, Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program executive. “It’ll put our agency’s managers and supervisors in these areas in a better risk-informed posture because they will further understand the work their people do and the risks associated with it.”
Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), supervisors are responsible for ensuring handlers have been provided the appropriate training, are competent and stay up-to-date on annual physicals. This short, one-hour course will ensure supervisors understand their responsibilities under OSHA. Previously, there was no course for managers, supervisors or lay people who wanted to learn more, other than an eight-hour in-person course that also came with prerequisites.
“It’s the CliffNotes version for Explosives Safety,” said Hallock. “Then, we encourage managers and supervisors to talk directly to their handlers and ESOs if they’d like to learn more.”
Hallock notes this course is meant to get people started, and managers and supervisors are still encouraged to take the refresher training every three years as well.
While managers and supervisors are explicitly called out in the name of the course, it is also intended for other non-explosives personnel, anyone who may work near explosives or who desires some basic knowledge of explosives. This may include security, logistics and environmental personnel, as explosives have to be transported and moved through the gates and have clear environmental impacts to be considered. Also, with NASA seeing increased launches from its facilities, any personnel involved with this process or working on or near launch pads may benefit from this training and a better understanding of the Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program.
Questions about the course can be directed to Hallock or Hudson.