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James Hartsfield August 24, 1995

RELEASE: 95-055

JSC EMPLOYEES TO SET ASIDE DAY FOR SAFETY AWARENESS

All NASA and contractor employees at JSC will set aside their normal work activities on Wednesday, Aug. 30, and focus a full day on safety awareness in their respective workplaces.

The unique "Safety Awareness Day" will be the first observance of its kind at JSC. It will focus the entire center solely on issues such as the awareness of individual roles and responsibilities for safety, recognition of hazards, familiarity with emergency action and response plans, and training for emergencies.

"Safety has always been a priority for NASA -- not just safety in space but also the safety, health and well-being of every single employee,"JSC Acting Director George Abbey said. "Safety is an essential element for efficiency as well as for health. Safe work promotes high morale among employees, and high morale, in turn, results in enhanced productivity for the center's workforce and a greater return for the taxpayers' investment."

All employees -- both contractor and civil service -- will participate, except for those with designated critical functions, who will make up the safety sessions at a later date.

"This day will provide us with a 'time out' for safety, time to focus on the safety of each individual that makes up the JSC team," explained Steve Nagel, Deputy Director for Operations Development in the Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance Office. "We have always had a strong emphasis on safety here at JSC and we have seen very good results. This day is an investment that is sure to pay dividends for a long time to come by making JSC a safer place to work."

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During sessions planned for the morning, all managers at the center will attend a series of safety briefings covering topics such as JSC's philosophy and approach to workplace safety; the proper response to various types of emergencies; the center's new siren warning system for emergencies; and awareness of hazardous activities. Other briefings will cover the center's "Close Call" safety issue reporting system and the NASA agency-wide safety issue reporting system. The briefings will be carried on JSC's closed-circuit television system.

In the afternoon, all employees will be involved in discussions and activities involving safety in their particular workplace. For example, JSC aircraft operations personnel at Ellington Field will highlight fire prevention while engineering personnel at JSC will focus on emergency response plans for their specific work areas.

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