NASA Podcasts

Historic Recordings: KSC Report 34, Safety Training at Kennedy
Interview with Safety Engineer John McCough
1967
 
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Sound of rockets engines firing

LAUNCH COMMENTATOR:
"Five... four..."

NARRATOR:
KSC Reports... a weekly coverage of events at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Sound of rocket

NARRATOR:
The safety of personal, and safeguarding expensive facilities, equipment and vehicles, is of prime importance at the Kennedy Space Center. The preparation, test and launch of rockets on space exploration missions requires work to be done, materials and fuels to be handled, stored and moved, that involves the potential of high hazard conditions. Safety considerations are a part of every task, every minute of every day at the spaceport. Despite all precautions, accidents do happen and endanger lives and property. A continuous training program is carried out to keep space center personnel safety conscious, and teach them the emergency procedures to be followed that can mean the difference between life and death, or serious injury. NASA Safety Engineer John McCough says spaceport safety programs have been constantly scrutinized, with special emphasis given to correcting conditions uncovered when an accident does occur.

MCCOUGH:
As a result of the accident where the three astronauts were lost, KSC reevaluated the training program so far as safety courses is concerned. It became apparent to us that there were several areas where we should improve in. One of them is this course that we are now presenting, which is designed to make all employees more familiar with the facilities where they work, including the safety equipment and devices -- how to operate them, where they are, and gas masks, for instance -- that's one thing we had trouble with during the accident. Some people damaged the gas mask trying to figure out how to put it on, and others didn't know where they were stored. So this particular course is designed to make the people who work at a given facility more knowledge of the facility and its capability.

NARRATOR:
About 12,000 space center workers are scheduled to take this latest safety course during the next few weeks.

MCCOUGH:
There are many training programs that are starting up and will be given, and many other actions that have been taken, such as improving safety equipment and putting more of it out in the facilities. Hopefully we will have a much safer environment shortly than we've had in the past, even though we consider the one we had in the past as very acceptable.

NARRATOR:
McCough says despite the hazards, a remarkable record of safe operations has been recorded at the space center.

MCCOUGH:
The KSC Safety Office is charged with the responsibility of preventing accidents or damage to facilities and injury to personnel, is our primary goal. This course is designed in case we fail in this responsibility and do have an accident. The course is designed to aid the people who are involved and to teach them the proper thing to do at the time, and proper use of the equipment that's available to them.

NARRATOR:
Man's conquest of space begins with a positive program of safety in the ground operations at Kennedy Space Center.

LAUNCH COMMENTATOR:
"Five...four..."

Sound of rockets engines

NARRATOR:
This has been KSC Reports... a weekly coverage of events at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Sound of rockets engines

 
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