LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Discuss the importance of observing proper safety procedures when working on naval gun systems and ordnance.
The primary reason for the vast amount of information available on the subject of safety precautions is simply the desire to prevent accidents. Research has shown that a majority of all accidents came about through sheer carelessness. Not only is there a loss of time involved in an accident but there is also an accompanying loss of equipment, material, or, in the extreme case, life itself. Aside from these important considerations, there is a vast amount of money wasted in replacing damaged equipment, making investigations, paying for hospitalization or funerals, and for man-hours not worked during convalescence. These are but a few of the problems faced everyday by the Navy because personnel fail to heed the posted and required safety precautions.
Safety is everybody's job. Awareness of danger, knowledge of how to avoid it, and constant vigilance are the three basic requirements for the prevention of accidents while you are working on or operating ordnance equipment.
Safety is both a result and a reflection of good training. The crews of a gun mount maybe trained so that they know how to do their jobs; however, the crew still cannot be considered well trained unless each of them is safety conscious. Safe working habits must be impressed upon every crew member through proper instructions, constant drills, and continuous supervision. Carelessness, cockiness, and lack of training have led to disaster while working with all types of ordnance equipment and materials.
Practical safety features are incorporated into Navy equipment to eliminate potential hazards to personnel. Since familiarity with equipment leads to carelessness, observation of all safety notices and rules is mandatory. No relaxation of vigilance should ever be permitted.
Each piece of ordnance equipment has a specific list of safety precautions to be observed during operation and/or maintenance. Study these thoroughly before
attempting to operate or repair any piece of equipment that you are not familiar with.
The following safety rules are but a few of the many that must be observed when operating or working on hydraulic or pneumatic systems:
l Never disconnect hydraulic lines or disassemble hydraulic equipment when the hydraulic system power motor is running.
l Never disconnect hydraulic lines or disassembly hydraulic equipment until the accumulators have been manually dumped to the tank.
l Never manually actuate switches, solenoids, relays, or valves on hydraulic systems under pressure unless you are competent and qualified to perform these actions.
l Report hydraulic leaks immediately so that they may be repaired at the first opportunity.
. If clothing becomes drenched with hydraulic fluid, immediately change into dry clothing. Hydraulic fluid is injurious to health when in prolonged contact with the skin. It is also a fire hazard. Immediately wipe up all spilled fluid.
. Do not direct a high-pressure air jet at any part of the human body; this may be fatal.
All personnel taking part in and observing operation of power equipment must remain alert, keep clear of moving parts, and be thoroughly familiar with the safety precautions applicable to that equipment. At no time should skylarking be allowed in the vicinity of operating power equipment.
Hydraulic systems operate under hydraulic pressures ranging from approximately 100 psi to 2,000 psi. Some pneumatic systems operate in approximately the same range of pressures as hydraulics. These pressures are dangerous and can be hazardous to personnel.
Safety precautions must be observed when performing maintenance, testing, and operating ordnance hydraulic and pneumatic equipment. The high-pressure liquid or air can cause major injuries to your face, hands, and other parts of the body by jets of air or liquid escaping from valves or pipe connections that are highly pressurized.
The following summary of safety precautions is intended to be general in nature, but its importance should not be misunderstood: . Do not service or adjust live equipment without the presence of another person capable of rendering first aid.
. Never measure potentials over 600 volts by means of flexible test leads.
. Do not tamper with interlocks or any other equipment safety feature.
. If possible, use only one hand when working on live circuits.
. Never use electrical or electronic equipment known to be in poor condition.
l Do not allow unqualified personnel to operate the control panels. Trainees or other persons undergoing instructions should be allowed to operate control panels only under the strict supervision of a qualified and responsible operator.
. Except for general quarters, always sound the train warning bell and get an all-clear signal before training and/or elevating the gun mount (before each time the equipment is to be moved).
Whenever any power drive unit that is capable of inflicting injury to personnel or material not continuously visible to the person controlling such motion is moved, the officer or petty officer authorizing the unit to be moved by power must ensure a safety watch. The on-deck safety watch is not necessary during general quarters but must be maintained in areas where such injury is possible, both inside and outside the unit being moved. There should be a telephone or other effective voice communications established and maintained between the station controlling the unit and the safety watch.
The following are a few basic rules that you should keep in mind when using wrenches: . Always use a wrench that fits the nut properly.
. Keep wrenches clean and free from oil. Otherwise, they may slip, resulting in possible serious injury to you or damage to the work. . Do not increase the leverage of a wrench by
placing a pipe over the handle. Increased leverage may damage the wrench or the work. . Provide some sort of kit or case for all wrenches.
Return them to it at the completion of each job. This saves time and trouble and facilitates selection of tools for the next job. Most important, it eliminates the possibility of leaving them where they can cause injury or damage to personnel or equipment. . Determine which way a nut should be turned
before trying to loosen it. Most nuts are turned counterclockwise for removal. This may seem obvious, but even experienced personnel have been observed straining at the wrench in the tightening direction when they wanted to loosen it.
. Learn to select your wrenches to fit the type of work you are doing. If you are not familiar with these wrenches, make arrangements to visit a shop that has most of them and get acquainted.
The following precautions should be observed when using torque wrenches:
. Do not use the torque wrench as a hammer.
l When using the micrometer-setting type, do not move the setting handle below the lowest torque setting. However, it should be placed at its lowest setting before being stowed.
. Do not use the torque wrench to apply greater amounts of torque than its rated capacity.
. Do not use the torque wrench to break loose bolts that have been previously tightened.
. Never stow a torque wrench in a toolbox or in an area where it maybe damaged.
Be thoroughly familiar with all posted safety precautions and those listed in the OP pertaining to the equipment to which you are assigned.
Do not think that once you have learned all applicable safety precautions you can sit back and take things easy. Review the precautions periodically, particularly those for jobs seldom performed. Try to improve upon any rules in effect. Safety is everyone's responsibility, not just those who developed the regulations. Most accidents are caused by personnel who are so familiar with their job they think they can take shortcuts; by personnel who do not know the applicable precautions; by practical jokers; or, in the majority of instances, by plain carelessness.