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Damage control recurring deficiencies.

The first thing anyone trying to get better does is figure out what is not currently working. It is even easier is to learn from another's mistakes, because we all know how messed up other people's programs are. In the spirit of letting others make the mistakes for us, here is a listing of the top damage control items that have been observed in the past as being "less than the example to follow."

School--The Submarine Damage Control Petty Officer course (CIN A-495-2054) is being underutilized. This course offers a great opportunity to conduct PMS and maintenance on things like OBAs and the galley range guard (and coming soon, the SCBAs) in a learning environment. Don't forget this is a required school per the STMPS report and is available at all bases. If you cannot find this course in the normal catalog call your local training facility and attempt to schedule a special convening.

Range Guard PMS--MIP 5556 has some really interesting reading in it. Little things like replacing the fusible link every 6 months and placing a metal tag near the assembly to document the replacement date. The best maintenance in the world can be called into question if the documentation is not done correctly. Also, on the range guard there is a requirement to maintain 3" of cable travel to allow for proper bottle actuation. If there is any question in your mind how to measure this clearance, please refer to the MRC. To give an illustration of the importance of this system, a Navy barge recently had a deep fat fryer fire. The fusible links had been removed for some reason (therefore, automatic actuation was not going to happen). Three PKP extinguishers were used and the fire continued to burn. Someone was smart enough to manually actuate the APC system and the fire went out almost immediately.

Steam Suits--As some of you may already know, there is a new style steam suit for use with the FFE and SCBA modification. Unfortunately for those of you without SCBAs, the MSA air-fed oven suit is no longer available in the supply system. To help with this NAVSEA issued a letter COMNAVSEASYSCOM LTR Ser 92T1H-167 of 11 APR 02, that reduced the number or air fed suits required on board. They followed up with a message, 291618Z APR02 (NOTAL), which recommends COMSUBLANT and COMSUBPAC collect the extra suits and disperse them to units in need of air-fed suits in good repair. If you have an MSA air-fed suit on order, you may grow old before it comes in from supply. The best course of action for you is to work with your squadron and TYCOM representatives to attempt to get one of the air fed suits collected from another unit. The SCBA install is being worked as quickly as possible and should include the new style steam suit with the SCBA modification; therefore, keep those air fed suits you have in good shape!!

OBA Material Problems--Discrepancies that can be fixed by following Q-8R of MIP 6641/009 are commonly found on safety surveys and INSURV inspections. Some of the leaders are bent guide rods and latch adjustments. Q-8R is a fairly involved PM and should be done by two people. This is a great time for yet another plug for the DCPO class being as this is one area specifically covered there.

PMS Documentation--As stated earlier, the lack of documentation can bring down a strong damage control program quickly. There are numerous PMs required after use, even during a drill. For example, EVERY TIME A FIRE HOSE IS CHARGED WITH SEAWATER, IT MUST BE BROKEN DOWN, INSPECTED, AND LUBRICATED (A-21R and R-19). It is the responsibility of the command to recognize this fact and ensure adequate time is put aside during the day to accomplish these items on drill days. It is the responsibility of the damage control petty officer to ensure the chain of command is informed of the requirements and properly documents these maintenance items.

Submersible Pumps--Most submersible pumps on board are in good mechanical shape. Let's face it, there is not a lot that can go wrong with the pump mechanically if PMS is done. The main problem noted is the electrical safety check is either not done within periodicity or is not accurate. By accurate, I mean that the requirement is that there be no exposed wiring at a plug, on the pump, or at the control box. Think about it, if you submerge this pump in a bilge with four feet of water in it do you want to be in the area on a metal deck plate, above a pump with 440VAC applied that has exposed wires leading into said submerged pump (and no placing electrical tape around the exposed wires does not help)? One boat even had the electrical safety tag tied around the exposed wires. The above-mentioned items are not the only things that are checked or are in need of repair in the world of damage control. These are only the most common that have been observed lately. Please take the time to prove that we as a submarine community are smart enough to let others break something and learn from them and the past.
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Title Annotation:safety regulations, training, manuals
Author:Morrow
Publication:FLASH
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:874
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