Health & Safety

May 4, 2012

Can I help re-invigorate the nuclear enterprise?

Victor Flores
452 Safety Office

If someone asked you what the U.S. Air Force’s number one nuclear enterprise priority is for 2011 and 2012, what would your answer be? On or above average, I get personnel who respond, “We don’t have a nuclear mission, so this requirement doesn’t apply to us”. Let’s look at a few of potential work situations so that you can decide for yourself.

First scenario:

You are a warehouse supply technician whose responsibility is to provide the base with a wide range of palletized supplies. While performing cargo transport duties on your forklift, you notice the forks start to drift lower without prompting, so you immediately halt the operation. Without hesitation, you alert your supervisor and vehicle control officer to the situation and standby for guidance on how to proceed. After assessing the situation, it is determined that the forklift will need replacing, and an accident report will not be required since no one was injured. After properly documenting the event, base transportation will need to be contacted for a replacement forklift. Does it apply to you?

Second scenario:

You are an aerial port cargo specialist assigned to upload and download cargo from transient aircraft. While preparing for cargo operations, you perform a “prior-to-use” inspection of a K-loader and notice cracks along one of the structural beams used to support the cargo load. You immediately stop the inspection and alert the cargo operations team chief of your finding.Does it apply to you?

Third scenario:

You are a government contractor driving a semi-tractor trailer from one side of the base to the other; the semi-tractor is assigned to your organization as government furnished equipment. After reaching your destination, you set the vehicle’s parking brake and proceed inside to check-in for your next assignment. Upon return, you notice liquid leaking from the tractor’s braking system. You immediately notify transportation dispatch for assistance; a vehicle maintenance truck responds to your call. Does it apply to you?

So, what is the answer to the above scenarios? Actually, the answer could be ‘Yes or No’, but the best approach is to treat each situation as a potential nuclear deficiency. The majority of these equipment items are identified by stock number and only confirmed via the Nuclear Certification Listing. With this, here are some questions to focus on:

  1. Does my unit have an inventory list of assigned Nuclear Certified Equipment items per AFI 91-103 and AFI 63-125?
  2. Who do I contact if I suspect an NCE item is unserviceable?
  3. Who determines if any NCE Item is potentially reportable through Air Force Safety Channels?

We may not have a direct role in the USAF Chief of Staff’s number one priority, but we can play a part in ensuring all aircraft, vehicles, equipment, facilities and software are ready for the Nuclear Enterprise challenge. For any additional questions, feel free to contact your unit leadership or Base Weapons Safety Manager for clarification.




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