John Livacich Receives Yes, If Coin for Approach to Safety

John Livacich Receives Yes, If Coin for Approach to Safety

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Livacich received the “Yes, If” coin from Russ DeLoach, NASA chief of Safety and Mission Assurance

Ames Research Center Safety and Occupational Health Manager John Livacich recently received a “Yes, If” coin for his proactive approach to mitigating risks and ensuring safe and reliable lifting operations.

Livacich serves as the Lifting Devices and Equipment Manager at Ames and chairs the Ames Lifting Devices and Equipment Committee. Due to Livacich’s diligence, Ames has safely completed hundreds of lifts since he was appointed to this role in 2019.

“John embraces the ‘Yes If’ approach to safety with measured flexibility and the inventiveness needed to support unique and challenging missions,” said Safety, Health and Medical Services Division Chief Stan Phillips, who nominated Livacich for the award.

Phillips said when Livacich encounters lift plans that need improvement to avoid mishaps, he works with the project team to identify solutions.

For example, while working with the Phased Array Acoustical Test project team, Livacich recommended against strapping the phased array to a scissor lift. The team accepted his recommendation to palletize the array and anchor it to the forks of a telehandler. This provided maximum control over the array during testing operations and increased safety when transporting the equipment to other locations.

He also worked with a contractor on a lift that involved an aircraft refueling tank weighing more than 75,000 pounds. He collaborated with the team to identify and mitigate several issues before the lift, including properly calculating the weight of the unit, which was initially underestimated by more than 35,000 pounds. He also recommended a safer single lifting technique than the proposed unstable tandem lift and addressed potentially dangerous rigging issues. 

"A Safety Office should be part of the solution, not part of the problem," said Livacich. "In the complex, one-off work that NASA is involved with, it is imperative that we have safety oversight."

He explained that this works best when Safety is invited in early to help projects discover safe and productive paths forward.

"The project then develops and owns this path, not Safety, thus allowing Safety to remain in the objective oversite role," he said. "You know you’re doing it right when projects are coming to you for help."

"It’s an honor to be recognized with the 'Yes, If' coin," said Livacich. "I’m grateful for so many [colleagues] around the agency that foster this 'yes, if' attitude. They are dedicated to keeping people safe and the NASA mission alive."

Recipients of the “Yes, If” coin exemplify the spirit of ingenuity, creativity and commitment to safety that the agency was built upon. To learn more about the “Yes, If” program, visit the Safety Culture page.